Since the introduction of Business Improvement District legislation in 2003, more than 200 Business Improvement Districts have been created in town and city centres across the UK and the Republic of Ireland.
Cheltenham was the first BID in Gloucestershire. Those currently in operation in comparable centres within 50 miles of Cheltenham include Solihull, Leamington Spa, Worcester, Stratford-upon-Avon, Hereford, Bath, Oxford and Bristol.
BIDs are funded through a levy calculated as a small percentage of business rates, with the levy percentage varying depending on the needs of the area in question. Most BIDs set a levy of between 1% and 2%. Cheltenham’s was set as 1.25% of the rateable value of the premises, or 1% for businesses in managed centres and non-retail charities with no trading income.
BIDs add projects and activities over and above those that are already taking place in the town. A BID is not a mechanism for any public or private sector body to cease to provide established activities.