1. Overview

A Business Improvement District is where local businesses lead and work together with partners to form a group to invest money and make improvements to an area. They are part of a legal framework.

Business Improvement Districts aim to improve a specific area such as town centres, by providing additional services above what is already available.  

Business Improvement Districts can be thematic, such as supporting the digital sector or can include Industrial Estates.

A Business Improvement District is set up through a legal ballot process. This means that all businesses which pay business rates within the area, vote for or against a proposal document. This document includes the project activities and its aim to drive local economic regeneration of the specific area.

If the vote is successful, all businesses will pay an extra amount referred to as a ‘levy’ on top of their business rates. The levy is then used to fund the projects in the proposal document.  

Business Improvement Districts can be set up to run for up to 5 years. After 5 years a ballot must take place to renew it.