The Business Improvement District Industry Multiplies!

The first Business Improvement District (BID) in the UK was established in 2005 and since we have witnessed the industry multiply. There was an impressive total of 260 BIDs at the start of 2017 with more planned to be developed throughout the year.

It is of particular note that BIDs can only be present for 5 years, then they must undergo a ballot to secure another 5-year term; these ballots have been present for over 10 years. The number of BIDs present today demonstrates the success of the ballots, proving the support BIDs have from their local communities and signifying the positive impact they are having.

BIDs have become pivotal to key cities and towns throughout the UK, they run cities commercially rather than relying on councils, which can at times, have restricted budgets. BIDs run a whole variety of projects to improve the economic state of the town or city including; festivals, cleaning schemes, security projects, quality events, the list goes on – all of which increases footfall and truly adds value to a location.

The BID industry has developed massively, not only in size but in activity. They have significantly raised their profile and awareness, driving more businesses to support and choose to fund their local BID to benefit from the activities they provide.

BIDs are much more in-tune with the shopping centre and retail market which are a big driver of footfall into towns and cities. British Bids are now partners of REVO, resulting in joint campaigns, driving higher footfall to our shopping centres and high streets benefiting all tenants in the area including; retail, leisure and F&B.

A strong aspect of BIDs is bringing local business communities together. With the developments in technology such as social media and networking sites, BIDs are now equipped to engage further with their community, promote their events to a much wider audience and share updates on their current projects – all of which will only assist in growing the BID industry further.

Since the BID industry began, each district has developed much stronger relationships with the businesses within their local area – shown through the repeat ballots. They have built a much stronger awareness of what a ‘BID’ actually is to the public and are increasingly better funded. It is encouraging the see the number of new Business Improvement Districts launching and the increasing amount of events and activity current BIDs are implementing. I’m looking forward to seeing what they have in store for the close-looming Christmas period!

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