About the BID

Having a Business Improvement District will put Aberystwyth in good company. There are now over 200 BIDs across the UK, working successfully to enhance commercial areas for their members. If successful, Advancing Aberystwyth will be the eighth BID in Wales, joining Swansea, Merthyr Tydfil, Newport and, most recently, Caernarfon, Bangor, Neath and Llanelli.

What is a BID?

A BID is a business-led and funded partnership, where businesses within a defined area invest money together to make the improvements they identify for their trading environment. The money generated is targeted only at the Advancing Aberystwyth programme.

How is it funded?

Advancing Aberystwyth will be funded by a 1.25% levy on the rateable value (RV) of all hereditaments, or business units, within the defined BID boundary with an RV of £6,000 or more. Businesses with an RV below this threshold will be exempt but can make a voluntary contribution. The levy will be based on the RV as of 1st February 2016 (the date of Notice of Ballot).

Am I eligible to vote in the BID ballot?

If your business is within the defined BID boundaries (a map of the BID area and has a rateable value above £6,000 you will be eligible to vote and thus pay the BID levy, if the ballot returns a ‘YES’ vote.

How does the ballot work?

The BID can only be set up after a successful ballot of businesses in Aberystwyth. On 15th February you will receive a ballot paper by post asking whether you support the formation of the BID. To be successful, the ballot must pass on two majorities:

1. By the number of businesses voting (over 50% of votes cast must vote yes)

2. By the RV (over 50% of the total RV of all votes cast must vote yes)

Who pays?

If both these conditions are met the BID will be established and the BID levy will become mandatory for all eligible hereditaments within the BID area - this includes those owned by the local authority, town council and other public bodies. The BID will then run for five years when a renewal ballot would be held and businesses take another vote to decide whether the BID continues or not.

How is the levy collected?

The BID levy will be collected on an annual basis and we have commissioned the local authority to collect the levy our behalf as a separate bill. The levy will be fixed for five years based on the RV as of 1st February 2016 (the date of Notice of Ballot). There will be no increase with inflation. Advancing Aberystwyth will be clear and transparent about how it is spending the money. There will be regularly updated information about income and expenditure available to all members of the BID.

Is the council contributing?

Yes, both the county and town councils have a number of properties in the town centre and will be levy payers.

How do you ensure services are in addition to those provided by the council?

To ensure that services will be additional to what ’s already delivered, the BID will have a baseline agreement with the local authority, which details the services they currently deliver.

BID funds are ONLY for projects in addition to those delivered by the local councils and can only be spent to improve the area in which they are raised.

Who runs Advancing Aberystwyth?

If a Yes vote is achieved an independent, not-for-profit company will be established, known as Advancing Aberystwyth. This will continue to be led by the private sector – by a board of directors who represent the businesses in Aberystwyth town centre and by theme groups also drawn from local businesses, who will meet to oversee specific projects in the programme ’s three main strands. There will be lots of opportunities for businesses to get involved.

How do I find out how much I am liable to pay?

These are examples of the levy different rateable values would be eligible for:

£6,000 - £75

£10,000 - £125

£50,000 - £625

£100,000 - £1,250

£500,000 - £6,250

There will be the opportunity for one-to-one appointments with each of the businesses in advance of the ballot, to talk through the business plan, discuss how much you will contribute and how the BID can help you individually.

How can I be represented?

There is still time to participate in the development of Advancing Aberystwyth by getting involved in the steering group, please get in contact for more information. Once it is established, any member of the organisation is able to stand for the board or become involved in the theme groups.