The Nationwide BIDs Survey 2016 gives a comprehensive overview of the ballot process, finances, governance and policy role of BIDS in the United Kingdom. The survey includes data for 216 of the 227 active BIDs and was published by British BIDs.
Here we focus on the data from the report that tells us more about the added value from BIDs. In taking this focus, we are seeking to understand how BIDs are developing to provide additional services, roles and leadership beyond their core commitments to levy payers and baseline agreements with local authorities.
Core income: The total income raised from the BID levy on businesses is £75.579m spread across 178 locations providing the data. The average per BID varies greatly with from £20,356 in Little Addington to £3.730m for the New West End Company in London. A further £22.971m is accounted for as indirect and in-kind funding.
Additional income: BIDs generated an impressive £13.58m of additional cash income over the last year; equivalent to 17.8% of total income. Of this, 29 BIDs each generated over £100,000 of additional income. Four BIDs -Kirkcaldy 4 all, Inmidtown, Otley BID and Plymouth Waterfront BID- more than doubled their income in this way.
Stakeholder involvement: Surprisingly, 13% of BIDs had no local authority representation, whilst 40% had no property owners on their boards. No figures were provided for representation by other community-based organisations.
Baseline agreements: There were reports of ‘slippage’ away from baseline agreements with local authorities in 23% of BID areas. These baseline agreements specify the level of services provided by local authorities prior to a BID being established and so are a measure of added value’ as a BID develops.
Transfer of council services: 20% of BIDs responding said they were in discussion about the transfer of services from the local authority. Most of the services under consideration could be considered core to a BID’s activity including events, street trading, markets and cleansing but extended to open spaces tourism and libraries. It was not specified whether these would be bring additional income or just responsibilities. Four BIDs did though refer specifically to contractual arrangements in relation to existing delivery of transferred services; notably Lincoln BIG provide the city visitor information service for £150,000 and Aberdeen Inspired provide event management and a city centre manager for the same amount.
Neighbourhood Plans: Only 22% of BIDs said they had some involvement in local Neighbourhood Planning/or that a Plan was being developed. It is though a little ambiguous as to the level of involvement in plan areas that this accounts for.