BedfordBID Explained

Business Improvement Districts (BIDs)

A Business Improvement District or BID is an arrangement under which you plan how to improve your own trading environment. Businesses identify projects or services that will add value to their business and agree how to manage it and how much they are prepared to pay. The funds collected are ring-fenced and used only to deliver a structured an guaranteed set of activities voted on by the businesses within the BID.The BID and the projects it will carry out DO NOT and CANNOT replace those services statutorily provided by the public agencies such as the Police and Bedford Borough Council. The BID can only provide projects and services over and above. It lasts for a maximum of five years.

The Opportunity

Historically c£2.5 million over five years has been invested to keep up and improve footfall, sales and values in the town centre, reduce business costs and simply make Bedford a better place to do business.

The Funding

BedfordBID is funded by those in the area paying a levy of 2% of the rateable value of their business. The levy is all ring fenced and spent by BedfordBID on projects and services agreed by you. It is actually nothing to do with normal business rates which pass straight to the Government. It is simply a fair way to decide who pays what. The threshold was increased upon the success of the ballot held in October 2019 to aid smaller businesses with a rateable value from less than £8,100 to £12,000 who are now exempt and do not have to pay at all, but still benefit from BID activity.

View our full accounts

The Management

BedfordBID is a private and independent company run by a Board of Directors chosen from those businesses that actually pay the BID levy, including both small and large businesses.


Board Directors are voted for at an AGM by BID members. If your business is within the BID area you are entitled to apply to become a member, regardless of whether your business pays a levy. 

Download a membership application here.

Learn more about BID membership here.

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