what is a BID

BID stands for Business Improvement District. BIDs form part of a town, tourism and visitor area, commercial district, or they can have specific themes such as food and drink.

Business Improvement Districts are collaborative business improvement projects whereby local businesses vote to establish a company to deliver joint economic and business development initiatives from a shared fund. Local businesses agree to pay an additional levy on top of their business rates to pay for projects that will improve the local economy and business outcomes for businesses and communities alike. There are dozens of active BIDs across Scotland with many more in the pipeline[1].

BIDs can only exist if they get support from a clear majority of local businesses in that vote.

Operating for up to five years, BIDs are developed, managed and paid for by businesses through a compulsory BID charge rolled out by the local authority. If the businesses that are part of BIDs want them to continue once the five years are up, another vote must take place.

BIDs came into force in Scotland in 2007 as a result of primary legislation in Part 9 of the Planning etc (Scotland) Act 2006 and other secondary legislation.

Why a BID for Possilpark

Over 2019, local traders representing around 90 businesses in Possilpark, came together with aspirations for the area that would necessitate radical improvements to the community and public realm in a bid to revitalise the area and increase its footfall.

These traders approached ng homes – the main social landlord for the area – and with a shared commitment to partnership working and regeneration (physical, economic and social) a seedcorn funding bid to Scotland’s Towns Partnership was successful to establish a pilot BID.

A steering group was formed to take the pilot BID forward and the group now meets every three weeks. See the ABOUT US page for minutes of Steering Group meetings.

Pilot Stage

Possilpark BID is at a pilot stage having received a seedcorn grant from Scotland’s Towns Partnerships to help potential BIDs develop a proposal to take to ballot.

This pilot stage will roll out over 2020 and is all about reaching a successful ballot.

During the pilot stage, businesses work together through a Steering Group to:

  • define the geography of the BID;
  • agree the levy i.e. an annual charge business will incur in order to implement the programme of work; and
  • develop local priorities for investment that can improve the local community

The intention thereafter is that businesses in the BID area will vote at a ballot in support of the proposed levy and action plan.

Further Reading

[1] From Scotland’s Towns Partnership website 1/4/20; https://www.scotlandstowns.org/business_improvement_districts_to_support_coronavirus_recovery_with_1_million_scottish_government_fund