Brentwood, Shenfield and Ingatestone businesses have voted to create a unique Business Improvement District (BID) that will secure a significant £2m to be spent on improving the area over the next five years.
The Brentwood Connected BID is the first in the UK to incorporate three high streets in one Business Improvement District. Over 500 businesses across multiple sectors will benefit from events, projects and initiatives that increase footfall, dwell time and perception of the area.
A Business Improvement District (BID) is created by and for businesses.
BIDs first came to the UK in 2005. There are now 320 UK BIDs with businesses co-investing over £150 million into mainly in high street locations.
BIDs succeed because they are focussed, entrepreneurial and cost-efficient – providing a powerful and fast business-led response to address everchanging economic conditions.
Funded by a small levy contributed by businesses within a defined boundary, BIDs are first created through a ballot amongst participating businesses. Each BID has a maximum term of 5 years before they need to return to the business community to be renewed.
BIDs are viewed by many businesses as a fair and affordable way of creating a ring-fenced fund for up to 5 years that is ‘managed by business for business’.
The Brentwood Connected BID will bring an additional £2m investment into Brentwood, Shenfield and Ingatestone over the next 5 years to provide additional services and initiatives that support and promote our area as a destination and drive a prosperous local economy.
After a series of business engagement events were held throughout 2022, the following priorities have been identified to ensure the future success of our high streets:
Improving places: To dress our streets and create an environment for people to stay longer
Promoting places: To attract new visitors and additional spend through marketing and events
Welcoming places: To ensure our locations are well-managed, safe and friendly
Connecting places: To create great places to live, work and invest
Businesses within the defined Brentwood Connected BID boundary will be assessed a levy, calculated as 2% of the rateable value (RV) of the premise at 1 October each year. Charities will receive 80% levy relief in line with their business rates relief. Businesses located within The Baytree Centre in Brentwood already pay additional service charges and so will pay 75% of the levy amount that would, otherwise, apply.
The owners of all untenanted properties will be liable for payment of the levy.
Brentwood Borough Council will be responsible for collection and expenditure of the levy.
Brentwood Connected is the first BID in the UK to include three separate high streets into one business improvement district. Businesses within the each of the defined boundaries with rateable values of £12,500 and over will see their levies combined into one BID budget.
Brentwood BID boundary
Shenfield BID boundary
Ingatestone BID boundary
Business rates are a property tax collected by the Local Authority which is then distributed at a national level. The Local Authority spends the allocated funding on services that are both statutory and discretionary and you have no control over these spending decisions. All the monies raised from the BID levy will be spent to the benefit of the BID area.
The Brentwood Business Partnership (BBP) is a partnership between Brentwood businesses, local business organisations and Brentwood Borough Council to increase footfall and encourage local spend to grow the local economy.
Brentwood Borough Council will provide operational support for the Brentwood Connected with BBP board acting as the advisory group to ensure that decisions on levy spend are business-led.
Kaye Thurgood, a Shenfield business owner, is the BBP Chair. She can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org.
The business plan, including the levy rules, is available to read or download here.
Sarah Walmsley is the Brentwood Connected BID Manager. She can be reached on email@example.com.
We encourage BID members to get involved, whether it’s suggesting ideas, joining the Brentwood Business Partnership board or sponsoring an event. Please email Sarah Walmsley, Brentwood Connected BID Manager, on firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.