About Business Improvement Districts

A Business Improvement District (BID) is a geographical area in which the local businesses have voted to invest together to improve their environment.

What is a Business Improvement District?

BIDs provide additional or improved services, identified by the local businesses. This could include extra safety, cleaning or environmental measures.

BIDs are business-led organisations. They’re funded by a mandatory levy on all eligible businesses after a successful ballot.

View our interactive map of London BIDs.

BIDs and the Mayor

The Mayor and City Hall strongly endorse the idea of BIDs and their role in the ‘place shaping’ of local town centres and industrial estates.

The benefits

The business benefits of BIDs include:

  • BID levy money is ring-fenced for use only in the BID area
  • businesses decide and direct what they want for the area
  • business cost reduction, for example, from reduced crime and joint procurement
  • mediating with local councils, Transport for London, the police and other public bodies 
  • increased footfall and staff retention
  • place promotion
  • networking opportunities with neighbouring businesses

Tools for BIDs

There are a range of documents that BIDs and Local Authorities can access and use free of charge.

These documents aim to provide support and guidance in the development and management of BIDs: 

All these documents are suggested templates and should not preclude you from seeking your own legal advice.

BID research

In October 2015 the LEAP and City Hall commissioned Future of London and Rocket Science to update the London BIDs research. This project will take stock of achievements to date, assess the current state of BIDs in London and look ahead to opportunities for BIDs to take a greater role in shaping London’s future.

The research evaluates the economic, place-making and regeneration impact of the London’s diverse high street and town centre BIDs. It explores the sector’s strengths and challenges, and considers the impact of local and national policies affecting BIDs. A separate research is taking place on Industrial BIDs and will be published in the Autumn.

Download a copy of the research

For any questions about the Mayor’s London BIDs programme, please contact: [email protected].

Instead of BIDs

City Hall wants to be inclusive and we acknowledge that not all high streets can, or want, to set up BIDs. There will be instances when high streets may be better setting up business partnerships or informal business groups.

City Hall is committed to also working closely with these groups.

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