BID Explainer

Your handy BID explainer

What is the Bromley Business Improvement District (BID) all about and why does it matter to you as a town centre business? We’ve put together the following guide to BIDs and their benefits, which will give you the complete picture.

Your Bromley, your hub for Bromley events and businesses.

What is a Business Improvement District (BID)?

A Business Improvement District (BID) is a partnership with local businesses to provide improvements to the public experience in a specified geographical area, usually a town or city centre. BIDs were first established in Canada and the USA as far back as the 1960s and now exist in locations across the globe, including hundreds in the UK.

The beauty of BIDs is that they are totally business-led and business funded. That means it’s those directly involved – shops and other town centre businesses – who decide what they want the BID to achieve, and how and when those aims will be achieved.

What are the benefits of a BID?

The BID is there to help businesses help themselves. It’s not about dictating or ‘hand-holding’. It’s a genuinely democratic process which involves all the BID members in setting key goals and helping to drive activity. Here are just some of the benefits for town centre businesses:

Giving you a voice - it's your chance to have an input on a wide range of matters that impact on the town centre experience and environment, from planning policy to parking provision

Totally targeted spending - BID levy money is ring-fenced for use only in the BID area

High-profile marketing and promotion, aimed to increasing visitor numbers and town centre footfall

A better town centre environment, delivering an improved visitor experience, as well as a more pleasant place for locals to live and work

Productive networking within the local business community

Strength in numbers - by joining together, local businesses can benefit from reduced costs and economy of means

How does the Bromley BID work?

Your Bromley is the BID for Bromley town centre. It’s a not-for-profit organisation funded by a small ‘levy’ on business within the designated bid area, based on the rateable value of their trading premises. Bromley Council’s partner Liberata handles billing of the BID charges to members.

Over its initial five-year term which ended in April 2021, Your Bromley invested over £3 million directly into improving Bromley town centre. Following overwhelmingly positive feedback from members and town centre users, the BID has now been extended for a further five years and an enterprising business plan has been drawn up, comprising new plans to support the town centre and help it recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The PLan

Key areas of focus

Heritage

The BID is committed to encouraging people to explore Bromley’s rich heritage and arts, and celebrate the legacy of some of its famous residents, from Charles Darwin to David Bowie. There are also ‘instagrammable’ art experiences and seasonal events to create a buzz and draw visitors to the town centre.

Health & Wellbeing

With the challenges we all faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, health and wellbeing have never been more important in our lives. To help people protect their physical and mental health, the BID will be launching a new wellness programme for those working in the town centre.

Town Improvement

Activity to further improve the Bromley town centre environment includes new security services, planting projects and sustainability proposals, such as a new project to cut down on single-use plastic.

Destination Marketing

Improved place marketing is also a major part of the BID strategy, with the aim of bringing more people to the town centre and boosting the local economy. A proactive marketing plan includes development of the Your Bromley brand, an enhanced online presence, in-depth market research, promotional support for town centre businesses and more opportunities for collaboration.