- 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
Starting a new built environment degree? We have a wide range of resources aimed at students.
Former railway chief James Blake says trust and control are key to successful infrastructure projects.
Do you know your Rococo from your De Stijl, your Gothic from your Post-modernist?
May outlines a new funding strategy for housing associations and says the 'stigma' of social housing needs to end.
RIBA launches a consultation on a new Plan of Work for Fire Safety.
This article offers some basic rules to follow when writing your next specification.
The iconic Mackintosh Building will definitely be rebuilt, board chairwoman confirms.
The machinery used to fashion stone has changed dramatically - and so have the products.
This type of pile provides support to the building, as well as acting as a heat source and a heat sink.
Why investors are adopting the SDGs and why civil engineering could be crucial for delivering them.
Read about all the winners from the London ceremony of CIAT's 2018 Architectural Technology Awards.