Q: Who set up the BID?
A: Cheltenham BID was proposed by the Cheltenham Business Partnership which carried out an initial feasibility study to see if there was business interest in the idea. When the results were overwhelmingly positive, a BID project team was set up, along with a Shadow Board to consult with businesses about what the BID should deliver.
The team then drafted the Business Plan 2016-2021 and accompanying documents and negotiated the Operating Agreement and Baseline Agreement with Cheltenham Borough Council.
Q: When will the BID start operating?
A: From 1st August 2016
Q: How long will the BID be in operation?
A: The Cheltenham BID will operate for 5 years. Shortly before the end of the five-year term, the directors will seek business approval for a new term in a fresh ballot and with a new business plan if they believe a further term would be of benefit.
Q: What does a BID do?
A: A BID delivers the projects set out in its Business Plan over the term of the BID, for the benefit of the BID levy payers. In Cheltenham, the projects will cover the following areas of activity:
- Marketing and Promotion
- Parking and Accessibility
- Town Centre Events
- Public Realm Improvements
- Business Support
Q: What will the BID do first?
A: Initially, we will set up the company, recruit Board Directors and staff and raise invoices to bring in the levy and deliver the projects you voted for.
This has involved:
- Writing to businesses in the BID area to confirm the yes vote and provide details of what happens next
- Seeking volunteers from amongst BID businesses who are willing to stand as Board Directors of the new Cheltenham BID company. If there are more nominations than seats, running elections from among the levy payers concerned to decide who is appointed.
- Setting up the Company, its offices and bank accounts
- Working with Cheltenham Borough Council to get ready to send out BID levy bills
- Recruiting a small team of staff, headed up by a BID Director, to run day-to-day operations
- Creating the detailed action plan for year 1, based on the business plan you voted for.
Q: Which projects will you deliver first?
A: The Year 1 action plan is being drafted now and will need to be approved by the Board Directors.
Q: I didn’t vote – do I still have to pay?
A: Yes. The reason BIDs are so popular around the country is that the process is democratic and everyone in the BID area who would have to pay the levy has an opportunity to vote in the ballot. Each levy payer makes their own choice whether to vote or not.
Q: I voted No – why do I still have to pay?
A: As with a general or local election, everyone in the proposed BID area has the chance to vote in the ballot and, after the election, everyone is bound by the way the majority voted. Because the majority voted Yes, everyone pays and the BID will work to make Cheltenham better for all BID businesses, not just the ones who voted yes.
Q: How much will my levy be?
A: It will be 1.25% of the rateable value of the premises you occupy, unless you are a tenant of a managed centre in which case your levy will be 1% of the rateable value. You can check your rateable value from your business rates bill or by going to www.2010.voa.gov.uk
Q: When will I have to pay my levy?
A: In the first year, the levy invoices will be sent out in August, soon after the BID starts operating and will be due for payment within 14 days. In subsequent years, they will reach you at the start of each BID financial year, which run from August to July.
Q: Do I pay for the whole year?
A: Yes, the BID levy is payable annually in advance within 14 days of receipt of the levy invoice.
Q: What happens if I move out of my premises?
A: If you move out of your current premises, you will receive a refund of the unused portion of your BID levy.
Q: What happens if I move into premises during the year?
A: If you move into premises in the BID area which are eligible for the levy, you will be liable to pay the BID levy for the unexpired portion of the financial year.
Cheltenham BID – the background
A ballot of eligible businesses in Cheltenham town centre was held between April 1st and 28th 2016 to determine whether those businesses were in favour of a Business Improvement District being set up in that area. The BID ballot result was positive and Cheltenham BID Ltd has been established to deliver the BID’s objectives.
The ballot of eligible businesses was conducted by Cheltenham Borough Council on behalf of the sponsoring organisation, Cheltenham Business Partnership, utilising the services of the Electoral Reform Society which is an independent scrutineer licensed by the Government to conduct elections.
The ballot was conducted in accordance with national BIDs legislation and a positive result was declared on 29th April 2016 as follows:
Businesses entitled to vote: 610 with an aggregate rateable value of £ 38,221,400
Businesses casting a vote: 42%
Businesses voting yes by number: 72%
Businesses voting yes by rateable value: 72%
The BID area covers most of Cheltenham town centre. A map of the area is available on this site.
All relevant information on BID progress will be posted on our website, so log on regularly to stay up-to-date.
The Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce believes that the BID is a great opportunity for
local businesses, whatever their size, to join together and raise the profile of Cheltenham
town centre. Clearly it is in the Chamber’s interest to ask our members, who are located
within the BID boundary, to vote positively in support of the town’s bid.
Michael Ratcliffe – CEO, Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce