The Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) in the UK have the responsibility of implementing projects that will benefit the local area. Using combined levy income, they ensure local businesses, residents and visitors can benefit from the enhancements.
It can be complex, take up to two years and require a range of skills and resources to be successful.After all the hard work scoping, consulting, assessing feasibility and developing the strategy, you’ll need to communicate this to the relevant parties. Here’s our blog on how to write a BID Proposal for your local town, city or district and why WiFi should be a consideration.
What to Include in Your BID Proposal
This is a checklist of commonly agreed best practice for writing a BID proposal.
- A statement of the works or services to be provided, the name of who will provide them and the type of body the provider is.
- A statement of the existing baseline services (if any) provided by the relevant billing authority or other public authority. It typically comprises a draft of the baseline agreement.
- A description of the geographical area (including a map showing that area) in which the proposed BID arrangements are to be carried out.
- A statement of whether all non-domestic ratepayers in the geographical area or a specified class of them are to be liable to the BID levy.
- An explanation of how the amount of the BID levy will be calculated and whether any of the costs incurred in developing the BID Proposal are to be recovered through the BID levy.
- A statement of the non-domestic ratepayers (if any) for which and the level at which any relief from the BID levy is to apply. The BID regulations don’t require the BIDs to offer any exemptions.
- A statement of whether the BID arrangements may be altered without a ballot and, if so, which aspects of the BID arrangements can be.
- A statement of the duration of the BID arrangements (also includes the start and end date of the BID).
Some BID Proposals are published in two parts – a short, digestible marketing document and a more comprehensive technical document. While the first will be published in hard copy and distributed to all BID-eligible businesses, the second will live on the BID website.
The Proposal documents need to be sent to the local authority for approval before they can be published. The submission to the authority should also include:
- A summary of the consultation it has undertaken with those liable for the proposed BID levy.
- The proposed business plan (including the estimated cash flow, an estimate of the predicted revenue to be generated and the predicted expenditure, the predicted budget throughout the BID arrangements and the contingency margin included in the budget.
- The financial management arrangements for the BID body and the arrangements for periodically providing the relevant billing authority with information on the finances of the BID body [this may take the form of a draft Operating Agreement with the authority].
- A notice in writing requesting the relevant billing authority to instruct the ballot holder to hold a BID ballot in relation to the BID Proposals.
- Information to show that the BID proposer has sufficient funds to meet the costs of the BID ballot.
Considerations for Your BID Proposal
Your BID proposal should ultimately work to invest money where needed to make improvements to the local business environment. A key consideration should be the evolving shopping habits we see coming into play, high streets need to explore innovations to keep up.
To achieve this, we think BIDs should aim to build on their areas of strengths and offer a viable and exciting alternative to not just internet shopping, but out-of-town too.
We think that WiFi needs to be a consideration in all BID proposals. It can be a key benefit for both visitors to the town and businesses. For visitors, it can enable them to see information and promotions from local businesses. For BID teams and town planners, there are unbeatable insights and analytics available by having a good WiFi solution in a town.
An example of this is Falmouth, a town who wanted to consolidate their position as a popular destination for visitors by investing in a public WiFi network. The Falmouth BID and Falmouth Town Council united to find a solution that would be able to support high usage during peak visitor periods.
After rolling out a robust and high-speed network, Falmouth is now enjoying the benefits of increased dwell time from visitors which has, in turn, helped local businesses. It’s been so successful that the Falmouth Town Council are considering further expansion of the network. You can read more about this case study by clicking the link below.
Whether you’re looking to innovate your local area with a WiFi network or simply want to spruce up the landscape, BIDs will face less resistance from stakeholders, businesses and the local community if they’re transparent about what they want to achieve. Not every email chain needs to be public but there are simple steps BIDs can do to improve visibility and buy-in.
One of the most effective ways for BIDs to be more open is to operate an active social media presence. You can learn more about the best practices for BIDs in this blog.
Once the BID Proposal is in place and the local authority has approved it, the ballot campaigning begins. Developing the right material for the campaign period is vital. The key piece of collateral is, of course, the marketing version of the BID Proposal that’s more digestible.
Whether your BID Proposal is looking to revamp your town using innovative WiFi solutions or attract tourists with free parking - we can stabilise the high street together.
Write a Successful BID & Transform Your Town
Many high streets in the UK have already incentivised their town through a triumphant BID Proposal. Using innovative technology to increase insights, custom and footfall, they’ve established themselves as innovators in retail.
That’s why we’ve created our ‘Transform Your Town’ guide which details how businesses and shoppers can benefit from some rejuvenation. From towns that are already thriving to how to secure your place on the high street after the COVID-19 dust settles, get access by downloading the guide below.