- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 12 Oct 2015
Business improvement district
A Business Improvement District is an area in which a levy is charged on business rate payers in addition to normal business rates to develop projects which will benefit businesses in the area. They are a form of business-led partnership intended to allow the business community and local authorities to work together to improve the local trading environment.
They can be set up by the local authority, a business rate payer or a person or company whose purpose is to develop the Business Improvement District area, or that has an interest in the land in the area.
- The services to be provided. These must be in addition to services provided by local authorities, such as extra safety, security, cleaning or environmental measures.
- The size and scope of the Business Improvement District.
- Who is liable for the levy.
- The amount of levy and how it is calculated (usually between 1% and 4% of rateable value).
- Details of any relief from the Business Improvement District levy that may apply and who is eligible.
Businesses that will be subject to the levy then vote to determine whether the scheme goes ahead, with each business entitled to vote in respect of each property occupied or owned by them.
A Business Improvement District body manages the Business Improvement District, generally a private company or a partnership with the local authority. The local authority manages billing and the collection of the levy.
The maximum period that a Business Improvement District levy can be charged is for 5 years after which a new ballot must be held.
As part of the high streets announcement, the government made a commitment for a review of Business Improvement Districts to see what further powers could be made available to help them shape the future of town centres.
- Increasing transparency.
- Closer working between Business Improvement Districts and local authorities.
- Changes to charging arrangements.
- Streamlining neighbourhood planning for Business Improvement Districts.
The consultation closed on 19 June 2015.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Business rates.
- Cities Devolution Bill.
- City deals.
- Enterprise zone.
- Going for growth, Reviewing the Effectiveness of Government Growth Initiatives.
- Growth and Infrastructure Bill.
- High street (planning and policy).
- Local Development Orders.
- Local Enterprise Partnerships.
- Portas review.
 External references
Featured articles and news
When is there a right to light, and what happens if it is obstructed?
What would the nationalisation of economic infrastructure mean for GB?
A new guide to improving value by reducing design error.
We've reached 80,000 page views a day and 10,000 registered users. Why not join them?
A masterplan is a framework within which a location is encouraged to develop or change. Read our introductory article.
New consultation announced on a specialist Housing Court to settle landlord-tenant disputes.
ICE responds to a transport consultation advising the government to make decisions enabling more inclusive cities.
BRE and Loughborough University complete first phase refurbishment of demonstration home.
How the risk of collapse of fibrous plaster ceilings is being addressed in theatres.
If you’re a great writer and have practical experience of the construction industry, it could be you.
Frustrated by long documents or technical jargon? Put off by sign-up forms or costs? Take this 5 min survey to help improve construction knowledge.