Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Business Improvement District (BID)?

Business Improvement Districts, like ours, are business-led organisations, set up in defined areas by like-minded business people, who seize the initiative to work together to positively improve their local trading environment. BIDs can only be created or renewed if they are sanctioned through a formal ballot of businesses operating in the BID area, when a majority of votes both by number and by aggregate rateable value to be secured.

How is a BID funded?

BIDs are funded by a small, compulsory annual business levy based on the rateable value of all eligible businesses in the BID area. This means that, irrespective of how a business votes in the ballot, it is legally obliged to contribute to the BID levy once a majority vote in favour. As the BID levy income is ring-fenced for specifically improving the local area, however, it also means that all contributing businesses share in the benefits derived.

How is a BID established?

The process of developing a BID involves extensive consultation with businesses to establish what improvements they want and may be prepared to pay for. A BID proposal is then produced and a 28 day postal ballot held where businesses vote ‘for’ or ‘against’ the proposed programme. For the BID to go ahead, two conditions must be met; firstly, a majority of those voting have to vote ‘yes’ and secondly those ‘yes’ votes have to represent more than 50% of the total rateable value of all votes cast. There is no minimum turnout threshold. If these conditions are fulfilled, payment of the levy becomes mandatory for all businesses regardless of how they voted. So, a BID will only be established if the majority of businesses, by number and rateable value, want it.

How can a BID benefit businesses?

Town centre BIDs generally focus on increasing footfall and generating additional consumer spend, something that has been particularly relevant to businesses in the recent economic climate.  Across the UK there is clear evidence of the success of BID schemes which have led to increased footfall, higher spending, cleaner, safer and more vibrant towns.

Is it just another tax?

No, the money does not go to the Central Government, to the District Council, or to the Town Council. Funds are ONLY for BID projects above and beyond those delivered by the local Council. We do, however, undertake a sensible, partnership led approach, to delivering large-scale initiatives that will be of significant benefit to the town.

How and where to pay your BID levy?

You can set up a direct debit now by visiting Online Services.

You can also pay using one of the methods below:

Pay by debit card at ‘Pay it’.
Use internet banking quoting your business rate reference and the following Council bank details:

Sort code – 30-95-58
Account no – 01197328

Phone (01638) 719100 and follow the instructions to make an automated payment using a touchtone telephone.

Send in a cheque to Forest Heath District Council, Finance Team C/O Newmarket BID, College Heath Road, Mildenhall, Suffolk, IP28 7EY. Please make cheques payable to ‘Forest Heath District Council’ and write your reference number and Business Name on the reverse of your cheque.

How do I contact my BID team?

email: info@newmarketbid.com
telephone: (01638) 676323
Newmarket BID Limited
BID Office
Moulton Road
Newmarket
CB8 8DY