For Businesses new to the concept of BIDs
First started in Canada over 40 years ago in a small town called Bloor West Village near Toronto. Businesses were struggling to cope with competition from a new out-of-town shopping centre, which resulted in many business insolvencies, empty shops and a neglected looking town centre. Businesses got together and devised a plan to revitalise the town and successfully lobbied for legislation for all businesses in the proposed BID area to pay a levy. The investment levy money was used to make physical improvements to the appearance of the town centre and to promote the town centre. The strategy paid off and the model has been successfully copied to create BID areas throughout the world.
In March 2008, Bathgate Town Centre became Scotland’s first BID.
Over the past few years, popularity in the UK has grown at a phenomenal rate, with over 120 established BIDs in the UK. There are currently 17 operational BIDs in Scotland with a further 19 development BIDs and another 14 in the pipeline. This proves that BIDs really do work (particularly through a recession) as a tool for providing the trading environment, which businesses want for themselves, their staff, customers and clients.
What advantages does a BID offer Bathgate?
BIDs operate on the basis of statutory contributions.
This means that all eligible businesses in the Bathgate BID area would contribute to the scheme after a majority of businesses have supported the BID in the ballot. This means that there is no “free-loading” – everyone benefits and everyone contributes. West Lothian Council has agreed to match funding of the levy raised for the five-year term of the BID. It is foreseen that Enterprising Bathgate will lever in extra funds from private and public sources for specific projects.