Business improvement districts (BIDs)

What is a Business Improvement District?

A Business Improvement District or BID is a flexible funding mechanism to improve and manage a clearly defined commercial area. It is based on the principle of charging an additional levy on all business rate payers in a defined area following a majority vote by those ratepayers. The levy is typically 1% - 2% of the rateable value. BIDs are generally regarded as a time-limited and locally controlled method for improving the environment and economic performance of a defined area of a town or city. Local partnerships are initially developed to undertake the work to:

  • Decide the BID area and what improvements they want to make
  • How the partnership will manage it and what it will cost
  • How long it will last (up to 5 years with renewal vote following initial term)

At present there are over 100 BIDS in the UK bringing an estimated additional £120M into local trading environments. Under voting at least 75% of businesses polled have been found to be in favour. Examples of services or projects funded from UK BID initiatives include:

  • Street/business security
  • Street, alley, and pavement cleaning and graffiti removal
  • Promotions/ public events/ expanding tourism
  • Marketing
  • Retail retention and recruitment
  • Development of parking facilities, pedestrian shelters, public amenities, fountains, parks, kiosks, lighting, benches, and litter bins.

We are supporting the development of business improvement districts (BIDs) for Lancaster city centre and Morecambe town centre. For more information please visit the websites below.

Morecambe BID

Lancaster BID

What businesses are in a Business Improvement District?

Enter your address in the search box below. If your property is within the blue shaded or red shaded (cross-hatched) area of the map, you are in a business improvement district.


Last updated: 21 August 2018