What is a BID?

A Business Improvement District (BID) is where all businesses in an area, like Lichfield City, contribute into a shared pot to fund projects, improvements and initiatives they want across the city centre. BIDs are business-led and a BID in Lichfield could raise around £200,000 each year – that’s £1 million over a five year BID term to be spent entirely on city projects chosen for by city businesses.

A BID in Lichfield would unite all 600 city businesses, of all sizes, across all sectors, all paying 1.5% of their business premises rateable value into a central fund. Businesses in areas like Three Spires, that already pay a charge to maintain the public spaces in their shopping area, will pay 1% of their rateable value.

This money is ring-fenced and managed by the business community through a BID Steering Group, in accordance with a five year business plan. Yearly BID charges for small city centre businesses could start from as little as £100. The BID would also see large organisations like the district council, and supermarkets contribute over £3,000 a year into city centre projects.

BIDs are not a new idea – they are tried and tested and well liked by business communities up and down the country. There are close to 200 BIDs across the UK with 13 in Birmingham and 37 in London alone. Nearby towns including Sutton Coldfield, Solihull, Worcester and Shrewsbury all have BIDs which are helping them to improve their centres and compete better with competition from nearby towns and retail areas. Find out more what other BIDs have delivered.

A BID Steering Group has been set up for Lichfield City and it is chaired by Paul Maddox, owner of The Scales Pub and Three Spires Coffee Shop. The role of the BID Steering Group has been to develop the BID Business Plan as well as encourage other businesses to get involved and be supportive.

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