A Business Improvement District (BID) is a precisely defined geographical area within which the businesses have voted to invest collectively in local improvements to enhance their trading environment.
BIDs were enabled by parliament through the Business Improvement Districts (England) Regulations 2004. This legislation was based on the experience of some twenty years of successful BID activity in America and Canada. Since 2004, over 300 BIDs have been proposed and approved by business communities in England and Wales.
The lifetime of the BID is prescribed by the Regulations and is set at no more than 5 years. It is possible for a BID to be extended by proposing a new Business Plan at the end of the BID lifetime for a fresh formal vote by the businesses.
There are over ninety BID areas which have been operating for more than five years and have gone through a renewal ballot, whilst more than twenty have now entered their third term having gone through a third ballot. These include Lincoln, Swindon and Birmingham Retail BID. BIDs have brought significant improvements to the trading environment of the businesses based in these locations.
In 2007, businesses in this part of the city centre voted in favour of a Business Improvement District (BID) plan to support businesses in facing the challenge of the opening of Westfield and the relocation of the key footfall drivers, Marks and Spencer and Debenhams. The Cathedral Quarter was born.
Before then this part of the city centre had no identity or collective vision. There was a genuine fear amongst the remaining businesses that this area would become a ghost town with high vacancy rates and low footfall. The first Business Plan (2008-2013) was aimed at ‘establishing the Cathedral Quarter as a destination’ and without question it achieved this, creating a coherent area which was both conducive to great business and an attractive place to work and visit. Not only did the Cathedral Quarter survive a deep recession, it thrived, outperforming many other towns and cities across the UK.
The second Business Plan (2013-18) sought to build on this, by ‘enabling all businesses to benefit from the Cathedral Quarter’s values’ and to build on the sense of community and lifestyle which had been created during the initial five year BID term. Through working together this has been achieved, increasing the profile of the Cathedral Quarter locally, regionally and nationally.
The Cathedral Quarter has also received national recognition, becoming one of the first BIDs in the UK to be awarded the IPM and BID Foundations’ BID industry kitemark for its governance and quality of its work as well as securing the ATCM BID of the Year and ‘Best City Location’ at the Great British High Street awards in 2016.
The Cathedral Quarter BID commenced its third term on 1 March 2018 following a successful renewal ballot in November 2017.
The results of that ballot were as follows:
Ballot turnout: 48.6%
Total number of hereditaments eligible to vote: 597
Percentage of ratepayers in favour by number: 84.8%
Percentage of ratepayers in favour by rateable value: 77.1%
The Cathedral Quarter BID area is as defined in the BID Proposal and Business Plan 2018-2023. All non-domestic hereditaments whose rateable value is £2,000 or greater will be liable for the BID levy, subject to the criteria set out in section 13 of the BID Proposal and Business Plan.
To see a map of the extent of the BID area, please click here.
To see a list of the streets making up the BID area, please click here.
Every year the Cathedral Quarter BID produce an Annual Report giving levy payers information on achievements, projects and initiatives, and a financial overview.
This is mailed out to liable account holders with the annual BID levy bill (usually in March of each year). You can also read this report by clicking here.
The Cathedral Quarter BID commenced operations in 2008 and is currently in its third term. It was established by businesses and is led by a BID Board consisting predominantly of those paying a levy in the BID area.