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What is a Business Improvement District?

Business Improvement Districts, known as BIDs, are business-led and managed partnerships. A geographical boundary is defined where businesses and organisations in this area invest, collaborate and improve their trading environment. Projects created provide added value and go beyond the statutory provision of public services. They address local issues through partnership working and collaboration, achieved through a ballot process. BIDs were first established in Canada and the USA in the 1960s and now exist across the world. There are currently over 320 BIDs delivering £130 million investment in towns and city centres throughout the UK

Swansea BID (Business Improvement District) is one of the older BIDs in the UK. It was established on August 1st 2006, after being given a positive mandate by a ballot of businesses over £5k rateable value in the designated BID area.

In 2011, 2016 businesses voted to renew the Business Improvement District in Swansea City Centre and on 25/6/21, it was officially declared that Swansea BID successfully secured a Wales record-breaking 4th term ballot with 77.4% Yes and 76.9% Rateable Value. The declaration can be found here. The new BID term started on 1st August 2021 and will run over 5 years until 31st July 2026.

For a BID to go ahead the ballot must be won on two counts:

  1. Straight YES majority
  2. Majority of rateable value (the value of a commercial property unit)

This ensures that the interests of large and small businesses are protected.

Since we were founded in 2006, we have invested more than £6 million in the BID area. As the first BID in Wales, we are proud to have been a trailblazer for subsequent BIDs, leading the way on investment, ideas and results. Being in operation for circa thirteen years we have delivered a huge amount of projects, schemes and services that have made a difference and continue to do so day in day out.

Like any business growth is important which is why we have a whole host of new projects, schemes and services in the pipeline at these exciting times in the BID area regeneration journey.