The Campaign Starts
The campaign to create a Business Improvement District (BID) in Stirling City centre narrowly missed being voted in last year. The proposal was introduced by a group of local business leaders from independent and national companies. All of them want to help make Stirling City centre a better place to visit, live and work in.
Their determination and passion to improve Stirling meant they didn’t give up on the BID idea, instead they reviewed the original proposals, surveying over 100 of the ratepayers who voted first time round. This research combined with their original ideas about improving the city convinced them once again that Stirling City Centre businesses would benefit from the introduction of a Business Improvement District. They have taken the decision to launch a new campaign for a Business Improvement District in Stirling and have started the required consultation with affected ratepayers within the BID area.
The BID steering group operate entirely separately from Stirling Council and the Scottish Government, a popular misconception is that this is a ‘council led scheme’ replacing services delivered by the council, it is not. The council will collect the BID levy on behalf of the Business Improvement District but this is immediately transferred to the BID Company, formed after a successful vote.
A Business Improvement District raises funds for an agreed programme of initiatives that are determined by the ratepayers and BID steering group during the consultation period. These initiatives are all laid out in the business plan, produced after the consultation. They are funded by the ratepayers paying a small percentage levy of their property’s rateable value (RV), in this case no more than 1.25% for properties with a RV over £10000 per annum. The levy is payable in two six monthly payments.
The collective that is a Business Improvement District creates a very powerful, cohesive group of businesses and organisations. This single body can deliver ideas not usually possible to the individual ratepayer alone. It has a single voice when lobbying local and national government and can attract inward investment because of its unique structure. As proven in other BID areas it can also deliver real value and savings to its members, an example of this is group purchasing schemes that often result in savings that add up to more than the annual cost of the levy!
The BID steering group want to help stimulate Stirling City centre making it thrive and become a more vibrant and successful place. The day-to-day pressures on businesses and the current difficult market conditions make a Business Improvement District in Stirling a more attractive proposal than ever.
The steering group are looking for all businesses within the proposed Business Improvement District area to engage with the consultation and play their part in shaping the BID business plan. Interested parties are invited to make contact with any of the committee members.