What is a BID?

Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) are business led partnerships which are created through a ballot process to deliver additional services to the area they operate within.

Within the defined area of a BID, a levy is charged on all business rate payers in addition to the business rates bill. This levy is used to develop projects and service which will benefit businesses and the neighbourhood.

There is no limit on what projects or services can be provided through a BID . The only requirement is that it should be something that is in addition to services provided by local authorities. Find out more on the government website.

Better Bankside was one of the first Business Improvement Districts in the country, established in 2005.

We are an independent, not-for-profit company, limited by guarantee. Our services are additional to those delivered by the local authority and other providers.

Every five years, businesses have the opportunity to vote on whether they want Better Bankside to continue. This ensures our programme of projects and services remains relevant to the membership. We reached an important milestone in 2020. 1 April marked the first day of Better Bankside’s fourth five-year term, following overwhelming endorsement from local businesses in our ballot last November – 92% supporting a renewal. Our manifesto was built around three pillars: a Bankside that is resilient in uncertain climates, responsible in our local community, and revolutionary in leading innovations for the future. 2020 was a real test of that.

From April 2020, we extended the BID boundary, welcoming more businesses into the Better Bankside community, generating an annual levy income of £1,957,000. Businesses with a rateable value of £26,000 and over become members of the BID and pay 1.1% of their rateable value, which is processed through the local authority. We have a track record of levering in additional investment from grants and external organisations. In 2015-20 we supplemented the levy with £2.5m in additional income, all of which was invested in your priorities, here in Bankside.

The BID covers the area from the riverside in the north to Borough Station and along Great Suffolk Street in the south, and from Blackfriars Road and Hatfields in the west, and east beyond Borough High Street to Trinity Street. The wider area takes in sectors of the community not currently represented, including four schools.

We are committed to growing our neighbourhood to create a more diverse business network, a stronger unified voice and new opportunities for all.