The York Business Improvement District (BID) is a business-led partnership that invests in improvements and enhancements to the centre of York and its businesses.
Information about Business Improvement Districts (BID)
What is the BID? A Business Improvement District is a specifically designated area where businesses within it work together to invest in services, special projects and events with the aim to increase economic development and growth. BID projects and programmes are in addition to services provided by the City of York Council and funded by an annual contribution of 1% of the rateable value from businesses that are within the BID area. The current BID term levy is based on 2010 business rates evaluation. Now one of 200 operational BIDs across the UK, the York BID was voted in by businesses by a 76% majority in November 2015. This establishes the BID to operate for five years requiring all businesses within the BID area (of rateable value threshold which is currently £12,500 and above) to pay the mandatory levy.
How is the levy used? Prior to the BID’s ballot, a consultation with businesses identified demand for particular improvements across the city and from this, the BID prospectus was produced with four identified areas: 1) Cleanliness & Environment 2) Safety & Security 3) Events & Festivals 4) Business Support. The York BID has been in operation since April 2016 developing programmes that fulfill the areas of focus. The levy is used to invest in these programmes that benefit BID businesses by improving the city centre environment, attracting footfall and increasing the local economy.
How can York businesses benefit? Businesses within the proposed area have the opportunity to identify the improvements they believe are needed to make a difference to strengthen York city centre's economy, environment and reputation. The BID provides investment that addresses these identified improvements with the aim to raise the standards of safety, cleanliness and support in the city. York is already famous for its heritage, historic streets, big-name shopping brands, visitor attractions and independent shops and the BID's further support strives to draw in more visitors, families, professionals and investors to our great city.
Does the BID replace Council services? As well as being a substantial levy payer, the Council aligns its activities to help the York BID bring about substantial improvements for the city centre. The BID is not used to replace core public sector services. There is legislation in place to ensure that a BID provides additional or enhanced services. The Council has a baseline agreement with the BID outlining the statutory services that it will continue to provide.
BID Levy rules
The annual levy is mandatory by law for the full period of the BID term (not exceeding 5 years). The Council collects the levy and then all collected funds go to the BID. Please note that no exemption or discounts have been issued to charities or listed buildings and those who pay discounted business rates are not entitled to a levy discount as well.
Liability for the full years Levy falls upon the Non-Domestic Ratepayer for the property on the date of billing (typically the first week of April). If the property is empty on the date of billing, then liability shall fall upon the property owner.
No refunds will be made either fully, or in part, in respect of Levy amounts paid should there be a change in Non-Domestic Ratepayer during the financial year. Neither the BID Company nor the Council will enter into negotiations between outgoing and incoming Levy Payers, and all said negotiations to recoup part-year payments must be resolved independently by the individual or company concerned.