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 200 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.
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.
A series of surveys and considerable research among businesses in the area was originally carried out 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.
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.
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 £15,000 or more will pay a levy .This overcomes any problem of a few businesses paying for improvements that benefit the many.
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.
Through this business-led programme of investment the vision is currently ‘To support business growth and investment in the town centre and build pride, loyalty and positive perceptions of Luton as a whole.’
1. Identify, develop and promote the strengths, characteristics and the business
offer of Luton town centre to increase positive perceptions and loyalty of the town, locally
regionally and nationally.
2. To ensure that the town centre and all its different areas present a distinctive, accessible
and appealing environment which attracts business investment, encourages visitors to stay
longer and fosters a pride in the town.
3. To provide a safe and enjoyable experience for visitors and workers in Luton town
centre to enjoy.
Growth and Investment
4. To build on the strengths of the business community to support and promote growth,
development and investment.
Costs and funding
The budgeted income over the five-year period of the BID is approximately £1.9 million.
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, town and businesses updates and are available to view via this website. News updates are posted regularly within the News section of this website.
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).
Voluntary levy Businesses under the levy threshold or outside of the BID area can pay a voluntary levy in order to become an active part of Luton BID. For further details please email email@example.com or to register interest, please download this form and email it back to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want to know more please contact 01582 510657 or email email@example.com and the BID Project manager is happy to meet with you and discuss the ways that you can get involved.
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