We are delighted to announce that the ballot for the creation of the Farnham Business Improvement District has been successful, with, of the votes cast, 75% by number and 81% by ratable value voting yes.
For the official details of the result please visit Waverley Borough Council website Waverley Borough council – BID Ballots
Shortly, we will outline the next steps towards the launch of the Farnham BID and the introduction of the exciting projects that will help improve our town over the next 5 years.
BID’s are funded and controlled directly by the businesses that pay for them. As a business, you choose which projects the BID fund is spent on.
Since 2004 when Government passed the Business Improvement Legislation, there have been over 300 successful BID’s in the UK, which over the next 5 years will generate over £100 million in investment.
Since 2004 when this legislation was introduced, there have been over 300 BID’s developed in the UK, which over the next 5 years will bring in over £100 million of new finance to develop their locations. The nearest ones to here are Walton, Guildford, Oxted & Caterham.
It’s up to you. BIDs can deliver any projects or services that are agreed by the businesses in the BID area and that are over and above anything that the public sector are required to provide through your business rates. In most BID projects include marketing and promotional activities, improving access and facilities, welcome and safety measures, attracting new businesses and investment, reducing costs and enhancing the visitor experience. The important thing is that the BID is focused on delivering the operational and other projects as determined by detailed consultation with all businesses in the BID area.
A BID is a mechanism which allows businesses to raise a sum of money to collectively manage and deliver projects that they have identified and believe will improve their trading environment, and providing a return in other ways to those who are paying for the improvements.
Like any good business plan, specific key performance indicators (KPI’s) are set and performance is monitored against the KPI’s by the BID board. The BID Company is answerable to the businesses that pay the BID levy, and will be required to monitor and inform its members on its progress towards the agreed KPI’s.
BIDs are normally controlled and managed by local businesses that are paying the levy, currently the majority of successful BIDs are delivered through a Company Limited by Guarantee (not for profit). The BID Company would be responsible for the delivery of the BID projects and services and directly responsible to all businesses through a board elected from those businesses that pay the BID levy.
A BID can be proposed by any business ratepayer, property owner, local authority or a partnership with an interest in the BID Area.
Once projects and services have been agreed by businesses along with how they are going to be delivered and managed, they are costed up and set out in a detailed business plan. The cost to each business is worked out on a pro rata basis. ‘This is called the ‘BID LEVY’. The BID levy is normally paid by the occupiers of a property. In addition, BIDs can draw in other voluntary funding, grants and ‘in kind’ contributions to supplement the BID levy.
Normally a ‘BID Task Group’ is set up which is responsible for putting together a detailed business plan setting out the projects it aims to deliver on behalf of the businesses in the BID area. This is based on a detailed consultation process with businesses. The business plan will include the projects, cost, delivery guarantees, performance indicators and the management structure. A confidential postal vote is held, all the businesses that would pay the BID levy get a vote. To become a BID a majority of those that vote must be in favour by number and rateable value. A successful BID then has a mandate for a maximum of 5 years after which the BID would need to seek a re-ballot. The indicative timetable for developing the Farnham BID is set out below:
Business Consultation & Engagement – May to July 2023
Business Plan – August 2023
Campaign – September to October 2023
Ballot – November 2023
BID money can only be used to carry out projects/ services ADDITIONAL to those that public services have to provide. Prior to the BID Business Plan being produced the current services being delivered by all public agencies including the Local Authority and Police are benchmarked. The BID company can agree to provide additional resources to deliver a higher level of service over and above the benchmarked level if this is what businesses have identified.