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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.
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.
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