FAQ's

If you have any questions about the Coventry City Centre Business Improvement District (BID), please contact one of the BID team. Below are some of the FAQ’s so far.

What is a BID?

A partnership between the local business community and a local authority that develops and takes forward projects and services which will benefit the trading environment and the public realm.

How does a BID work?

The local business community identifies a requirement for a capital project or services that will have a positive impact on the trading environment. It defines the geographic location of the BID and develops a business plan to deliver the project/services. The plan identifies how much money will be raised, how it will be spent, how the project will be managed, the delivery and monitoring procedures. The Local Authority is responsible for organising the vote on the proposed plan. 

How is it funded?

Once the vote has been passed, the Local Authority will collect a supplementary levy on the business rate and the amount will be wholly designated to the BID. There is no specific limit or recommended amount, however whatever levy is proposed must be clearly specified in the business plan and will be voted on by the business ratepayers.

Why is a BID needed?

A BID provides the mechanism to secure sustainable funding to deliver services and improvements to address local problems. It will only be used to deliver additional services/capital improvements that the business community has identified as necessary to add value to the trading environment.

What are the benefits?

BIDs provide sustainable funding for an agreed period of time. There is no “freeloading” - those who vote have a voice, pay the levy and will benefit. It is a transparent, clear and democratic process. It allows self-management and self-funding with no red tape or bureaucracy. It provides practical services to ensure a clean, safe, well marketed, attractive environment. In the long term it will deliver significant economic and quality of life benefits. 

How long does a BID last?

The specified period for which the ratepayers must pay the additional levy i.e. the duration of the BID itself must be specified in the initial BID proposal. This period cannot exceed five years but may be any period of time under five years.

Who will pay?

The type of non-domestic ratepayer in the BID area that will pay the BID levy must be specified in the proposal that is voted on. All the identified ratepayers will then be liable to pay the BID levy should the defined ratepayers vote in favour. In Coventry, it will apply to all customer-facing businesses within the ring-road.

Who collects the levy?

The agreed additional BID levy must be paid by the ratepayers to the billing authority concerned. 

Who gets to vote?

All ratepayers who will be liable to pay the additional BID levy will have a vote in the ballot.

What criteria must be met to secure a successful ballot?

A successful ballot will have to meet two tests. Firstly a simple majority of those voting in the ballot must vote in favour. Secondly, those voting in favour must represent a majority by rateable value of the hereditaments (rateable properties) of those voting.

Who administers the vote?

The local authority will be responsible for calculating whether or not the vote has been successful and will have to announce the result of the ballot publicly. 

How affordable is the BID for local businesses?

Local discretion also extends to setting the amount of the BID levy which may be different amounts for different types of ratepayer in the local area.

As a retail property, I already pay a service charge, will this be taken into consideration?

It is proposed in Coventry City Centre to give a 33% discount to retail properties within covered, privately-managed shopping centres who pay a service charge. Effectively this discount applies to retail outlets within Lower Precinct, West Orchards and Cathedral Lanes.

What area does the BID Cover?

Geographically, the Business Improvement District (BID) covers the area inside the ring road which forms a clear physical boundary.

Which business sectors are included?

The City Centre BID applies to customer-facing businesses where footfall is a key aspect of their trading environment. These customer-facing businesses include shops, bars, restaurants, pubs, estate agents, banks, solicitors, accountants, travel agents and employment agencies.

How does the BID work in partnership?

Coventry City Council, in partnership with the local businesses that make up the Business Improvement District, is in charge of delivery. A Committee of levied businesses will continue to supervise the BID with representatives from each sector included. Quarterly meetings will continue to be held - to which all local BID businesses are invited – to ensure the investment made is on track to deliver on its promises and provide briefing opportunities for other key partners such as the Police and the Local Authority.