Ilkley BID Q&A
With one week to go until voting closes on the future of the Ilkley BID, BID Chairman Mark Heppinstall busts some myths on eligibility, and what the BID means for Ilkley businesses of all types.
Over 300 businesses in Ilkley are expected to benefit from the Ilkley BID and, have the opportunity to vote for its introduction. A BID (Business Improvement District) is a business-led and business funded body which is formed to improve a defined area in a town or city.
Over the last few months, Mark has been engaging with many Ilkley businesses about how the Ilkley BID will affect them. Here we present some of the most frequently asked questions:
I received a voting paper, but I don’t need to return it as I won’t be involved and don’t pay business rates.
If you have received a voting paper, this is because you will be involved in the BID if the ballot is successful and therefore you can vote. The BID levy calculation is based on rateable value purely as a fair way to ensure bigger businesses pay more than the smaller ones and is not affected by any rates relief or exemptions which apply to business rates.
I run an office-based business, how will I benefit from a BID in Ilkley?
The four themes in the BID Business Plan ensure that businesses from all sectors can benefit. Some of the benefits for ‘non-retail’ businesses include cost cutting measures, marketing, business support and acting as ‘One Voice’ with third parties. By way of example, despite the BID not yet being in existence, the Development Board have already had a successful meeting with BMDC Traffic & Highways department; obtaining a commitment from the Council to offer ‘Special Permits’ for Town Centre staff when pending parking changes are rolled out later this year. The BID Business Plan can be seen at www.ilkleybid.co.uk and this sets out more details about how your business might benefit from an IlkleyBID.
We are a charity; do we get a reduction in the BID levy?
The BID Development Board considered this carefully and decided that charities that meet the criteria will be liable to pay the full levy, just the same as all other businesses, as they will be able to access the full range of benefits.
Why should we pay a BID levy when we already pay business rates?
The funds raised by the BID levy do not get paid to central government or the local council. The funds are kept in Ilkley, spent as far as possible in Ilkley and the spending decisions are all made by Ilkley levy paying businesses. The BID projects will be over and above services already provided by BMDC and a ‘Baseline Agreement’ sets out the minimum service levels from the council so that they cannot withdraw services and expect the BID to pick up the costs. The BID will react to what the levy paying businesses want and can be reactive to the changing requirements of the town.
My street is listed on the BID Business Plan and my rateable value is over £7000 but I haven’t received a ballot paper so I mustn’t be included.
If you are in central Ilkley and your location is within the boundary line shown in the business plan, you will be included in the BID and should have received voting papers. Not returning a voting paper does not impact your inclusion so please contact us if you think you should have received a ballot pack and one hasn’t come through.
Who runs the BID?
BIDs are 100% business led and are operated as a not-for-profit organisation that is led entirely by Ilkley business people and other representatives within the BID area. If successful, the BID Board will be looking for a range of members from Ilkley businesses to act as volunteers to help steer decisions.
What’s in it for my business?
BIDs give businesses a greater voice and support a fair system of contribution from businesses towards major improvements, developments and events which have been identified, requested and supported by their members.