History of BIDs

A Business Improvement District is a business led initiative, supported by government legislation that raises funds from businesses within in its defined District to be spent locally to improve the business environment to attract greater footfall into the district from local people and visitors.

The BID concept originated in the US and Canada in the 1970’s and was introduced into the UK in 2004 by a Local Government Bill. There are now 185 BIDs in the UK and 6 operate in Cornwall: Truro, Falmouth, Newquay, Camborne, Newham Industrial Park and St. Austell
A BID lasts for 5 years – Truro and Falmouth are on their second BIDs.

History of BID Camborne

Camborne Chamber of Commerce started BID Camborne in October 2010 and, with the support of a BID team in Cornwall Council, the ‘CamborneCanDo’ Steering Group was formed consisting of 15 people from Camborne businesses, organisations and the Town Council. They spent 17 months working with Camborne businesses to develop a business plan – the CamborneCanDo Final Proposal.

The final proposal is asking the businesses to pay a BID levy based on 2% of their Business Rates to deliver projects on 3 themes. Theme 1 is Environment and Promotion, Theme 2 is Cost Savings and Theme 3 is Best for Business.

What we liked about a BID was that all businesses in the town would invest in their town – the big Nationals from whom the Chamber had always had great difficulty getting support.

In March 2012 there was a ballot on the Final Proposal asking every business if they wanted Camborne to become a Business Improvement District.

The results – 68% of those businesses that voted said Yes, which represented 80% of the rateable value of those entitled to vote. In the BID laws, for a BID to go forward, over 50% have to vote Yes and those that vote Yes have to represent over 50% of the RV of those that vote.

In April 2012 BC started work – setting up the BC Company with 15 directors – 10 are BID levy payers – 3 from Camborne organisations – Town Council, Chamber of Commerce and Camborne Regeneration Forum, and 2 Voluntary members who wanted to help their town. The part time Manager was in post from May 2012.