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BID Q and A

A BID is a defined geographical area, within which local businesses collaborate to invest in projects, services and initiatives that improve the environment in which they work. BIDs deliver additional services to those provided by the local authority and the police. A BID is funded by businesses and organisations in the defined area, through an annual BID levy. The funds are ring-fenced to that area and controlled by businesses through the BID Company. At the moment there are over 330 BIDs operating throughout the UK.

A BID lasts for up to five years. At the end of which a new Business Plan is published and businesses have to vote again in a Renewal Ballot for the BID to carry on. Only if the majority of businesses vote “YES” can the BID continue for another five years.

Before the Manor Royal BID satisfaction with Manor Royal as a place to do businesses was very low. Independent studies concluded that the business district was losing pace with other business parks and, without action, was in danger of stagnating. The Manor Royal BID has delivered new and additional services and projects, and attracted additional investment, that has significantly improved the area and overall satisfaction that otherwise would not have happened.

The Manor Royal BID is managed by a not for profit company limited by guarantee - MRBD Limited (the BID Company). The BID Company has its own Board of directors made up of businesses from the BID area, who are elected at an Annual General Meeting (AGM) and volunteer their time. In this way the BID is created and managed by businesses for businesses.

A considerable amount of research and survey work has been undertaken to help inform the Business Plan. About 40% of businesses responded to an area-wide survey plus there have been numerous events, meetings, articles in Manor Royal News, the eBulletin and online to ensure the BID delivers want businesses want.

The BID also commissioned independent research to ensure the Business Plan is robust.

The direct business benefits include:

  • Delivery of practical projects driven by business ideas and informed by their needs
  • Development and management of the area influenced by businesses
  • More effective and influential working relationships for the benefit of Manor Royal businesses, including Crawley Borough Council and West Sussex County Council
  • A strong focus on investment to improve Manor Royal over a five year period
  • Generating additional funds in addition to the BID Levy to deliver new services, projects and improvements that preferentially benefit Manor Royal businesses and employees that otherwise would not happen
  • Delivery of measurable improvements to benefit all businesses

The BID will deliver the changes, improvements and projects that the businesses in Manor Royal want and need and have identified as being important to them. It is important to remember that the BID is not there to replace the services provided by Crawley Borough and West Sussex County Councils. 

The BID's activities are additional to and on top of those services the businesses would otherwise receive. Services from the Police and the local authorities are defined in a series of Baseline Agreements to ensure that the money generated by the BID is used for the improvements voted for by the businesses in the BID area and not to subsidise either Council or anyone else.

All businesses who are expected to pay the BID Levy will get a vote in the Renewal Ballot (a postal vote) that takes place in February 2023. The announcement of the ballot is expected on 02 March 2023.

The ballot is a 28 day postal secret ballot administered in the same way as a local election by the local authority electoral services team.

The ballot is a confidential postal ballot, the same as a postal vote in a General Election or local authority election. All eligible businesses located in the BID area will have the opportunity to vote on the BID Business Plan. The BID will only be approved if more than 50% by turnout and by ratable value of the properties vote in favour.

The delivery of the BID business plan is funded via a BID Levy that is based on the Ratable Value (RV) of those properties in the BID area. Each property with a RV of £12,000 or more will pay an annual BID levy of 1.1% but capped so no property pays more than £4,000 per annum.

In addition to the levy raised from the businesses, the BID will also seek to attract other funding. The Manor Royal BID has been particularly successful at this and has already secured an extra £2.5m (circa) if businesses vote “YES” to renew it. That will mean for every £1 of BID Levy contributed the Manor Royal BID will attract another £1m to create a fund of approximately £5m invested in Manor Royal between 2023 and 2028 that otherwise would not happen.

All the funds generated by the BID are ring-fenced for the sole and exclusive use in Manor Royal in accordance with the Business Plan businesses vote for.

The person or organisation liable to pay the non-domestic rates for any property in the BID area with a rateable value of £12,000 or more is liable to pay the annual BID levy. Where a property is occupied, this will normally be the occupier. For empty properties, this will normally be the leaseholder or the owner.

No. Once the majority of business vote to create the BID every liable business within the BID area is legally bound to pay the annual levy, even if they voted against the BID. Businesses moving into the BID area after the BID has been created also have to contribute.

The levy is collected by the local authority and passed to the BID Company, which can only be used to pay for BID services set out in the Business Plan businesses voted for.

It's important to remember the BID is run by fellow Manor Royal businesses who are accountable via the BID Company to each company that pays the levy.

A series of performance measures are agreed as part of the Business Plan and regularly reported.

The BID is committed to holding an Annual General Meeting, producing an annual report, publishing fully audited accounts online and sending a detailed BID Levy Statement with the BID Levy bill setting out how the BID Levy was spent in the previous year and how it will be spent next year.

The BID also keeps businesses informed by publishing a quarterly magazine, monthly eBulletin and hosting regular events throughout the year.

No. The regulations governing BIDs state that the services provided by BIDS must be additional services not already provided by the Council or police. The Manor Royal BID only provides new, additional or enhanced services.

A series of Baseline Agreements are signed to ensure that what the BID does is additional and that the local authorities maintain their service levels.

The basic level of services the Councils have to provide are not enough to bring about the improvements Manor Royal needs - this is what the BID provides.

Please contact the BID Office if you have any questions at all. Other useful sources include:

The British BIDs website (
Part 4 of the Local Government Act (2003) introducing BIDs to the UK
The Government BID Regulations - Statutory Instrument 2004 No. 2443

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