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The Staines BID

Background

A Business Improvement District (BID) is a defined area where business ratepayers invest together in local improvements chose to boost trading conditions. A BID is business-led and business-managed and established through a ballot open to all businesses in the BID area. During 2016 a group of a businesses and stakeholders formed a BID steering group to develop a Business Improvement District in Staines-upon-Thames. The group had representation from businesses throughout Staines-upon-Thames and all businesses were consulted about a possible BID.

BID Ballot

In November 2016 the Electoral Reform Service conducted an independent 28-day Postal ballot. All eligible businesses in the BID area received a copy of the five-year business plan together with a ballot paper.

Of businesses that cast their vote 76% of businesses by number and 72% rateable value voted in favour of the proposals. The successful Staines-upon-Thames BID ballot result was announced in December 2016. There are currently over 250 established BIDs including Camberley, Kingston, Guildford and Twickenham.

BID Projects

Staines-upon-Thames BID projects are grouped into five themes:

1 - A well-known town: marketing, promotion and PR

2 - An eventful town: high quality events to boost trade and footfall

3 - A safer town, day and night: keeping crime off our streets

4 - An attractive town: street and parking improvements

5 - A productive town: business support and lobbying

Consultation with all businesses in the Staines-upon-Thames BID area identified key issues to help form the proposals in the business plan. All the projects can be seen in the Staines-upon-Thames BID business plan at www.visitstaines.co.uk/staines-bid

BID Levy

To fund the work of the Staines-upon-Thames BID each business with the BID area pays a compulsory annual contribution. This is the BID levy. The BID area is shown on page 23 of the Staines-upon-Thames BID business plan which can be downloaded from the Staines Bid website.

In line with legislation collection of the levy is done on the BID's behalf by the Local Authority, Spelthorne Borough Council; the money is ring-fenced and paid back to the BID in it's entirety. Collection is enforced under the same rules and processes as business rates collection. Any queries about the following should be raised with Spelthorne Borough Council:

  • levy payment
  • bills or reminders
  • disputes over liability for properties
  • recovery notices

Contact Customer Services Team at Spelthorne Borough Council

Tel: 01784 451499 Email: nndr@spelthorne.gov.uk

How to work out your levy

The BID levy is based on the rateable value of the property (hereditament) that a business occupies. This is also how business rates are worked out. For the Staines-upon-Thames BID, the levy for 2017-2022 is 1.5% of the premises rateable value, with the maximum BID levy payable on any one hereditament and also those with multiple hereditaments capped at £5,000 per year. BID levy will not increase during the five year term 2017-2022. For businesses located within Two Rivers Retail Park and The Elmsleigh Centre the levy is 0.75% of rateable value to reflect the managed environment and service charge.

Exemptions

The following types of hereditament will be excluded from paying the BID  levy (and therefore from voting in any BID ballot): charities, industrial use, warehouses, advertising hoardings, communications stations/telecom masts, ATMs.

Empty property relief

Owners are usually liable for unoccupied properties. Under business rates rules, businesses receive a 3-month period where they are exempt from paying business rates. However, a BID levy charge of 100% of normal liability applies as soon as a property becomes vacant (ie no 3-month grace period).

Levy bills

  • in Line with BID regulations, levy bills will arrive at the same address used for business rates bills
  • first year levy bills are out in March/April 2017 when the BID commences
  • bills will be sent each March/April, as the start of the BID year, for the five years of the BID term
  • one levy bill will arrive for each eligible property o the rating list. So for example a business occupying three rateable properties will receive three bills

BID accounts

Fully audited accounts will be made available on the Visit Staines website for all the levy payers at the end of each BID year and at the BID Annual General Meeting. A review of the annual BID activities and details of the completed projects and project expenditure will accompany the following years BID levy bills.

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