The concept of Business Improvement Districts is now well established with over 200 Business Improvement Districts in the UK which equates to over 75,000 businesses investing over £200 million.
Bath recognised the need to have a strong city centre management partnership and this was successfully established by Future Bath Plus, the public private partnership set up to oversee city centre management, culture and tourism activity. Part of the remit was to investigate the benefits of a Business Improvement District if implemented in the city.
A feasibility study was completed by Partnership Solutions, who have extensive expertise in this field. The analysis that took place identifies the positive impact of a BID for Bath in improving trade, boosting footfall and dwell time, and increasing our competitiveness as a city.
In order to take a BID forward a partnership approach was adopted by bringing together a cross section of business representatives to sit on the BID steering group. A BID has to be business led, giving businesses a unique opportunity to shape the future of the city centre.
The Steering group, now the Bath BID Company Board includes landlords, large retailers, small independent retailers, tourism and leisure sectors along with professional and office sectors.
It is vital that those who rely on the city centre for their own economic prosperity are involved in the Business Improvement District. It is a business led initiative and every business in the BID area will have an opportunity to have a voice.
Dr. Julie Grail of Partnership Solutions, who has been involved in successfully implementing over 40 BIDs across the UK, commented “BIDs are proving incredibly popular with the business community, many BIDs that have been back to their businesses to renew their mandate at the end of their first term have won their ballot to continue. During these times of economic difficulties, BIDs are invaluable in identifying ways to reduce business costs and enhance trading conditions. “
A number of others towns in the South West have already implemented a BID including Taunton, Worcester, Torquay, Falmouth and Truro, and indeed Bristol.
Businesses were consulted face to face in order to seek their idea and views from the 27th April 2010 until the 14th May 2010.
The survey feedback can be seen within this web site.
Following the survey, businesses were balloted in October 2010. Following a successful result the Bath BID came into effect on the 1st April 2011.
Our annual review is published each year around May. Please visit our downloads area to view our publication and find out what has been achieved.