The word BID is short for Business Improvement District, which defines an area of business ratepayers. A Business Improvement District (BID) is a business-led and business-funded scheme to improve a designated commercial area, such as a town centre or industrial estate, through additional services or new initiatives.  
Government legislation enabling the formation of BIDs, was introduced into England and Wales in 2003, empowering businesses to ‘raise funds locally to be spent locally’ on improving their trading environment.

BIDs are funded through a nominal levy calculated on the rateable value of all businesses within a defined area. Although the percentage can be set higher or lower, most BIDs apply 1.25% or 2% levies. Make It Ealing apply 1% BID levy.
While most of the income will come from non-domestic ratepayers, public and voluntary sectors will also contribute to the BID.  
The levy income can be used to lever in more funding; for example from public sector agencies, grant bodies, sponsorship, landowners and trading income during the 5-year scheme, maximising the potential funding stream and the benefits that the BID can achieve.

The process of developing a BID involves extensive consultation with businesses and permission from the Secretary Of State to establish what improvements can be delivered and the BID levy charged. A BID Proposal is produced and a 28 day postal ballot held where businesses vote ‘for’ or ‘against’ the proposed programme that will be in place for 5 years.  
For the BID to go ahead, two conditions must be met; firstly, a majority of those voting have to vote ‘yes’ and secondly, those ‘yes’ votes have to represent more than 50% of the total rateable value of all votes cast. There is no minimum turnout threshold. If these conditions are fulfilled, payment of the levy becomes mandatory for all businesses regardless of how they voted. So, a BID will only be established if the majority of businesses, by number and rateable value, vote yes.  
Once a BID is established, it has to go back to the businesses every 5 years to confirm a new yes vote to continue for another 5 years.

Many businesses view BIDs as a fair and affordable way of creating a ring-fenced fund for up to 5 years that is ‘managed by businesses for businesses.’ 

Town centre BIDs focus on increasing footfall through promotion, beautification, increased security or events. Across the UK there is clear evidence of the success of BID schemes which have led to increased footfall, higher spending, cleaner, safer and more vibrant towns.

For further information, read Government guidance on Business Improvement Districts here.

The BID represents your voice and is a united front for all businesses in the BID area to tackle issues that could impact the public space, the overall perception of the area, and your companies’ success. Our Street Ranger team keep the public realm clean and tidy and proactively help homeless people engage with the various agencies that can help them. We work with the police to observe and track people on the street who are suspected professional beggars or commit ASB and are disruptive to businesses. We provide free pest control to the food & beverage businesses, alleyways and areas where rubbish is likely to build to keep our public realm attractive, clean and pest free. We offer businesses an allocation of free dry mixed recycling and cardboard collection and a protected price promise to buy additional supplies and services, cheaper than the council and other contractors.

We provide events, promotions and decorations, to celebrate seasonal activities and occasions. Your business event, activity, news or job offers will appear on our website, newsletter and social media channels. You will be kept informed through direct mail, newsletter or flyers of B2B opportunities, training, webinars and promotional activities that could benefit your business and save you money. The BID office is also your first port of call for any queries and provides help from the right people or portals. We can help print and scan forms and applications and will follow up on your behalf.

All billing-related matters are handled by the Ealing Council’s Business Rates team. They can be contacted via phone: (020) 8825 7020, or via email: More contact details can be found here.

The BID is run by a board of BID levy-paying businesses, who offer their services for free. Board members get voted onto the Board by BID levy payers who sign up to be BID members. There are no company owners or shareholders, and directors have to abide by the same rules laid down by the Government despite not being paid for their time or service. The length of term for the company is five years, which can be renewed every five years by a renewal ballot. If there is a majority yes vote at ballot then every business within the identified BID area is liable to pay a BID levy based on a percentage of their rateable value outlined in the business plan, regardless of their vote preference. All businesses occupying property within the BID boundary are bound by the BID levy rules regardless of the date of occupation. 

The Board employs the staff in the BID office to deliver the BID projects in the business plan. They are all paid employees and are identified along with their job role on the meet the team page.

You the BID levy payer. The ballot is about voting for the projects you want to spend the money on over a five-year term.

Every year we send out a billing leaflet detailing how money was spent against the project deliverables and how we predict we will be spending the money in the coming year. We have to use external accountants and are accountable to the council who collect the money on our behalf.

If you would like to get more involved with the decisions made by the Board, the first step is to sign up to be a BID member. Please get in touch with Gerry for more details.

Please refer to our recycling FAQ page here.

Please contact the BID office 02085 677854 or email