Click on the questions below to see the answer
What is a bid?
Who is behind this scheme?
How will the bid be managed?
How will the extra services be funded?
How long will it last?
5 years - 2020 to 2025.
How do we get a bid?
What happens after 5 years?
After 5 years the current scheme will end. The scheme can be extended or renewed for another 5 years. The same processes of consultation, and ballot have to be undertaken to secure a further 5-year term. The renewal BID may contain the similar elements or it may be a completely different Business Plan to reflect new priorities at the time.
Do bids exist elsewhere in the uk?
There are over 300 BIDs schemes in the UK. Evidence has shown that they work, with nearly every second term ballot resulting in higher numbers of businesses voting ‘YES’. They have led to increased footfall, reduced overheads, safer and more vibrant towns and cities with higher spending levels., and businesses influencing how their councils deliver services in the town.
How do you know it works?
Over 300 BID schemes have gone to ballot, the majority have voted in favour and the positive benefits are very obvious. Businesses in those areas have the chance to influence how their towns are managed and to make the changes necessary to survive. Of all the BIDS that have gone to ballot for a 2nd term +90% have been approved for a 2nd term by an increased majority. Many are now going forward to secure a 3rd term.
Isn’t this what i pay my business rates for?
Who pays, and who collects the money?
The BID levy is charged to occupants of business premises with a rateable value of £5,000 or more and will be collected by Somerset West and Taunton Council and then placed into a ring-fenced account (a BID Revenue Account) and passed on to the Taunton BID Company.
What if don’t pay business rates - will I still have to pay the bid levy?
Yes you will. The levy is based on Rateable Value to make it a fair and proportionate charge, so bigger businesses contribute more than smaller ones. So if the ballot result is positive any business that was eligible to vote will have to pay.
What sort of things can be included?
That will be for you as businesses to decide. But in other places it includes better marketing, improved security, better signage and directions, better cleaning, taxi marshals, cost saving initiatives, promotions and events tailored to attract shoppers and visitors to the area.
Shouldn’t the council pay for all that?
The council will still be legally obliged to provide all the services that it does now and bring in any improvements they have scheduled. Anything done through the BID will be additional to what you get for Business Rates. Budgets for local councils have been cut dramatically and there will be no additional money to improve or support new ideas.
Are bids just a way for councils to save money?
Absolutely not, a BID scheme must support additional projects and services, provide new activities and cannot replace statutory activities or services carried out by the Local Councils, County Council, Police and other public agencies. The BID Company must have Baseline Agreements with the Councils to ensure that businesses are not short-changed in the future and to avoid any duplication of services.
What will it cost?
It will cost a very small % of your rateable value in the case of Taunton BID this will be 1.5%. This is equivalent in many cases of just pennies per week, a book of stamps or a small ad in the local press. All this money is ring -fenced to deliver the business plan it is also used to encourage more funding to match it so the pot of money grows. Only business in Taunton with a rateable value of £5,000 and more will be included in the scheme.
Why are businesses with a rateable value of under £5000 exempt?
Many businesses premises with a rateable value under £5000 are lock- ups 3rd floor offices or advertising hoardings, these will not have a significant influence of shaping the BID. The cost of collecting the levy from these smaller businesses outweighs the income generated from them. It also means that the number of businesses is reduced, meaning that we can communicate with eligible businesses more effectively. Businesses under the threshold do not get a vote. Exempt businesses and businesses outside the area can however opt in to make voluntary contributions of no less than 1.5% of their rateable value.
What is the bid area?
Please click here to see a large version of the map
Which streets are within the BID area?
Who gets to vote?
Every business in the area with a rateable value of £5,000 and above has one vote regardless of the size of the premises If you own or occupy more than one premises in the BID area, you will have a vote for each premises; you can cast a vote for each.
If I don’t vote, do I still have to pay?
Like any democratic process the majority of the businesses that vote determine the outcome of the scheme. Regardless of how you voted, YES, NO or abstained you will still be liable to pay the levy
Will the bid deliver what it says?
The BID Business plan is a legal document. Every year the BID Company is legally obliged to publish an audit of its delivery against the targets in the BID plan, all voters will have a right to see that audit and to hold the company to account.
Is this the right time to be developing a bid?
Will my money be spent locally?
A SNAPSHOT OF BIDS IN THE UK
A BID can be set up anywhere there is a collection of business premises and owners that want to make a difference. These include: Industrial Centres, Trading Estates, Businesses Parks, City Centres, and town centres of all types.
Introduced in England in 2004
More than 300 in the UK – Minehead was number 301!
In the UK BIDs include– towns, cities, coastal resorts, industrial parks, Tourism BIDs
*Total, UK BID levy income - £110.5m
*120,700 businesses are in UK BID schemes.
*Value added - £12.5m (11.4% of total BID levy inclusive)
*97% of ballots last year (2018) achieved a mandate.
They have influence - 38% of BIDs are working with their local LEPs and many directly influence local town centre strategies, and Future High Street Fund.
All Party Parliamentary Group for BIDs has been set up to influence Gov’t policy ,
There are 30 BIDs in the SW region.
The great majority of BIDs are voted in for a first term. Of all the BIDs that have gone to ballot for a second term over 90% have been approved for a further term by an increased majority, and a handful have now entered a third term.
WHY DOES TAUNTON NEED A BID?
Taunton is the County Town of Somerset, served by 2 junctions off the M5. It sits at the heart of the Vale of Taunton and bounded to the North by the Quantock Hills and to the South by the Blackdown Hills, both are AONBs. Taunton is a significant urban and commercial centre for the SW. It has been designated a Garden Town to denote that the Government recognises that is growth hub for the region.
The town centre is architecturally attractive, relatively compact and easily navigable. It has a wide range of stores with most of the key nationals represented. In addition, it has a vibrant independent retail and hospitality offer. Taunton sits on the banks of the River Tone, it hosts the Somerset County Cricket Club, Somerset County Museum, the Brewhouse Theatre and the renowned Castle Hotel.