A Business Improvement District is a defined area in which a levy is charged on all business rate payers in addition to the business rates bill. This levy is used to develop projects which will benefit businesses in the local area, increase footfall and boost trade.
There is no limit on what projects or services can be provided through a Business Improvement District (BID). The only requirement is that it should be something that is in addition to services provided by local authorities and the police. Improvements may include, but are not limited to, extra safety/security, cleansing and environmental measures.
Visit Staines BID is funded by a BID levy which is 1.5% of rateable value from eligible businesses and organisations within the BID area. Once a ballot is established in favour of a BID, the BID levy is mandatory for eligible businesses irrespective of how or whether they voted.
In Staines-upon-Thames, the 28-day postal BID ballot was held in 2016 with 76% of businesses voting YES, which represented 72% of rateable value. We needed a majority vote on both counts and achieved this; our 5-year BID term commenced on 1st April 2017.
The BID levy is paid annually by the occupiers of a property and collected by Spelthorne Borough Council. It is then transferred to Visit Staines BID for use on the projects and services agreed in Visit Staines BID Business Plan.
BID businesses are represented by the BID Company, which is governed by a voluntary board of directors, from a range of sectors and organisations in the BID area.
The BID levy is charged at 1.5% of rateable value of each hereditament (business premises) within the BID area that has a rateable value of £12,000 RV or more on the annual rating list. Businesses below this threshold and charities are exempt from paying the levy. Businesses within Two Rivers Retail Park and The Elmsleigh Centre pay 0.75% of their rateable value in BID levy. This is due to the services already provided by shopping centres such as security, marketing and events. The BID levy is capped at £5,000 per annum for larger businesses and those with multiple business premises; this applies to 15 businesses.
Whilst businesses under the threshold clearly benefit from the BID through our place marketing and improvement projects, we also offer a Voluntary BID Membership which enables non-levy payers to be more involved.