1. ITV Report

What is a BID and how would it affect Kendal?


A Business Improvement District (BID) is a defined area of a town centre where all the businesses have agreed to pay a small levy to make improvements.

The businesses vote on whether they want to be involved or not. If the majority vote in favour of it, all the businesses must pay.

They pay 1% of the rateable value of their property - so a large department store would pay much more than a small boutique - into a central pot.

A BID committee is appointed to decide how the money is spent.

The initiative is led by the businesses, not the local authority.

Shops in Kirkland, Kendal would be part of the Business Improvement District. Credit: ITV news


Those in favour say it gives businesses a chance to collaborate to bring about change, arguing more can be achieved by pooling money and working together.

Business owners decide what the money is spent on, so can target funding towards driving more tourists and shoppers into the town and then improving their experience while they're there.

It has worked successfully in other UK towns and cities.

In Liverpool, the City Central BID pays for extra street cleaners, more police officers on the beat and organises events throughout the year.

Penrith businesses voted for a BID in April. They are focussing on lowering parking costs, helping small businesses and promoting the town to tourists and shoppers.

But those against the BID argue the extra cost to each business isn't worth the collective benefits.