Business Improvement Districts - Have They Any Influence? This Month, Birmingham's Very Own Property Super Sleuth, Theo Holmes from CBRE, Puts His Powers of Deduction to Good Use to Investigate Business Improvement Districts
Byline: Theo Holmes
THE Case: Are BIDs relevant to office occupiers and do they influence the decision making process when companies choose where to locate their offices? The Evidence: With five Business Improvement Districts - Colmore Business District, Broad Street, Retail Birmingham, the Jewellery Quarter, and Southside - Birmingham has earned itself the title of BID capital of the UK.
Furthermore, Colmore Business District (CBD) is the only office focused BID outside London.
Established in 2009, the CBD was set up to project manage improvements and services to the business quarter of Birmingham. During the BID's first five year term more than PS3.5 million was invested back into the District through a range of projects and initiatives, from public art installations, exhibitions and events, to improvements to the 'streetscape' and public realm, such as Church Street Square.
The CBD is financed through a one per cent levy on the rateable value paid by businesses within the District. The levy applies to businesses with a rateable value of PS10,000 or above and levies are capped at PS25,000.
More than 500 companies are located in the CBD, employing circa 35,000 people. Of those 500 companies, around 370 are eligible to pay the one per cent levy. According to the CBD, the average (mode) levy is PS530.
Eligible businesses vote on whether they want the BID or not. If the majority vote "yes", the BID will run for a five year term.
The CBD recently secured a second term after a resounding yes vote in its re-ballot, so clearly it is doing something right and businesses in the CBD see the value in having a BID.
At recent event, hosted by the British Council for Offices, on the subject of BIDs and their importance to office occupiers, Mark Smith, chairman of PwC in the Midlands and senior partner for the Birmingham office, which is based in the CBD, was unequivocal in his support for BIDs. …