FAQ

Here are some frequently asked questions regarding BIDs and Luton BID in particular. Simply click the question to expand the answer.

What is a BID?

A BID is a Business Improvement District. The mechanism is part of the government’s long-term strategy to encourage partnership working between a Local Authority and the business community. A BID is a geographically defined area within which rate-paying businesses decide on new improvements to help transform their area – and then vote to agree the investment. This money is then ring-fenced to provide the improvements agreed through the development of the BID strategy.

There are over 170 BIDs in the UK now and many of these have been renewed. The majority of these had a greater turnout and an even greater vote in favour than the first time of voting.

What is the duration of a BID?

The duration of the Luton BID for Luton Town Centre runs for 5 years from 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2020.

What area does Luton BID cover?

  • Streets included in the Luton BID are:
  • Alma St
  • Bridge St
  • Burrs Place
  • Bute St
  • Cardigan St
  • Castle St
  • Chapel St
  • Cheapside
  • Church St
  • Collingdon St
  • Cumberland St
  • Dunstable Place
  • Dunstable Rd (East side)
  • Flowers Way
  • George St
  • George St West
  • Gordon St
  • Guildford St
  • Inkerman St
  • John St
  • King St
  • Lea Rd
  • Library Rd
  • Liverpool Rd
  • Manchester St
  • Melson St
  • Mersey Place
  • Mill St
  • New Bedford Rd (from junction with Telford Way)
  • Park St
  • Park St West
  • Peel St
  • Pondwicks Rd
  • Power Court
  • Silver St
  • Shopping Mall (Currently known as the Mall)
  • St Anns Rd
  • St Georges Square
  • St Marys Rd
  • Station Rd
  • Stuart St (North Side)
  • Telford Way (East Side)
  • Town Hall Square
  • Upper George St
  • Vicarage St
  • Wellington St

Who manages the BID?

The Luton BID Ltd is a company limited by guarantee and has its own management board made up of businesses from the BID area who volunteer their own time. It monitors the management group which looks after the implementation of the business plan. It is a not-for-profit company. The board, the management group and the working group members are made up of individuals who represent the cross section of businesses in the area. They appoint a project management company, Partnerships for Better Business Ltd (pfbb UK) to deliver the projects on behalf of the company.

How does the BID work?

A series of surveys and considerable research among businesses in the area was originally carried out in 2013/14 to determine what improvements businesses in the area would like to make, as well as to discover why people visit Luton Town Centre. The results of this consultation formed an essential part of the development and creation of the Luton BID Business plan which was successfully voted on by all non-domestic ratepayers in the BID area, in November 2014.

This means that businesses have a direct role in deciding what improvements should be made in Luton Town Centre in the next five years.

The BID project team then delivers an action plan based upon the objectives outlined in the Business Plan, and steered by businesses in the BID area.

How does my business benefit?

The entire cross section of businesses in the BID area, from retailers to professional service providers identified issues that they wanted the BID to tackle. The direct business benefits include:

  • Delivery of a pragmatic and business driven agenda.
  • Development of the area which is business led.
  • The development of an effective partnership with the public sector.
  • A focus on achieving positive and measurable outcomes of benefit to all businesses.

How is the BID funded?

The delivery of the BID business plan is funded by the businesses in the BID district and aims to be both fair and transparent. As a result of the majority of businesses voting in favour of the business plan, all businesses in the area with an rateable value of £5000 or more inside the shopping mall, or £10,000 or more outside the shopping mall, will pay a levy .This overcomes any problem of a few businesses paying for improvements that benefit the many.

What will the BID deliver?

The BID will deliver the changes and improvements identified as needed by the businesses in the BID area. It is important to remember that the BID is not there to replace the services provided by Luton Council and these are benchmarked and are monitored by the BID company to ensure that the money generated through the BID is used for the improvements voted for by the businesses in the BID district and not to subsidise the Council.

What are the BID’s vision and objectives?

The objectives and vision of the Luton BID 2015-2020 are outlined in the business plan which is available for download via our website.

Through this business-led programme of investment the vision is currently ‘To develop an energetic and entrepreneurial business community that is ambitious, innovative and always resourceful which connect, inspires and strengthens the business sector and creates cohesion, a vibrant town centre, a great visitor experience and a sense of pride in our town’.

Promotion
1. Identify, develop and promote the strengths, characteristics and the business offer of Luton town centre to positively change perceptions of the town, locally regionally and nationally.

Environment
2. To ensure that the town centre and all its different areas present an accessible and appealing environment which attracts business investment, encourages visitors to stay longer and fosters a pride in the town.

Experience
3. To provide a safe, attractive and appealing experience for visitors and workers in Luton town centre to enjoy.

Businesses working together
4. To build on the strengths of the businesses in Luton town centre, to support and promote growth, development, investment and a sense of businesses community.

How can the businesses stay informed?

There are a range of different working groups that you can participate in, and help steer the projects that are being delivered. Ebulletins are mailed to all businesses on a weekly basis, giving BID, city and businesses updates and are available to view via this website. News updates are posted regularly within the News section of this website.

How can I become a member of the BID company?

Membership of Luton BID Ltd is open and free to all Luton Business Improvement District levy payers and offers you the opportunity to vote on all BID Company issues arising at the Annual General Meeting (AGM).

To become a member please download and complete this form and either email it back to us at info@lutonbid.org, or alternatively post it back to us at the following address: Luton BID Ltd, 32 The Hat Factory, 65-67 Bute Street, Luton, Bedfordshire, LU1 2EY   Tel: 01582 510 657

If you want to know more please contact 01582 510657 or email info@lutonbid.org and the BID Project manager is happy to meet with you and discuss the ways that you can get involved.