This autumn has been a busy time for many BIDs with renewals and brand new BIDs coming forward for ballot. Hoddesdon, Worthing, Winchester, Guildford, Cambridge, Southend, Orpington have all been successful in their ballots to renew their term; Leicester, Harborne, Hemel Hempstead and Banbury have all successfully won their first ballots and we welcome them to the Business Improvement District (BID) community. Another six BIDs are in ballot this month, and Ballot Watch continues to update the industry as usual.
Bb has been working on a set of new monthly Policy Guidelines, aimed at giving BIDs the key facts on the critical issues in the timeline of a BID. This will start with Types of Ballot, and then move to Notifications, Proposal Documents, Business Plans and work through another dozen key topics, all linked in to The Business Improvement Districts (England) Regulations 2004. The first one, on Types of Ballot, is being launched next month and each series will be available on the Bb website for members.
We have been speaking to members about a hands-on Spring Workshop each year to mirror the conference in the autumn, where a group of BIDs visit another BID which is different, interesting or exemplar. The National BID awards at the conference last month allowed 17 BIDs across the UK to showcase a particular project and there was much interest in visiting BIDs to look at new and interesting things. We will clearly be speaking to some BIDs over the next few weeks, but if you are interested in hosting a workshop do please get in touch and we can speak further. I know that some regional groups are already doing this, as they move their meetings between their regional BIDs, and this workshop would allow a slightly more formal national version of this.
As you know, Bb produces the National BID Criteria each year, in partnership with the larger national levy payers. These guidelines allow the national levy payers to vote more comfortably for BIDs that clearly meet the criteria, and Bb provides a service that allows any member to be reviewed against the guidelines when they produce their Business Plan. The next meeting of the Criteria Group takes place on December 8th, and a sub-group of BIDs and Levy payers on the National BIDs Advisory Board, or those who have gone through ballot recently and used the Review service, will meet to develop the guidelines for publication early next year. If you have any views on the Criteria please contact us.
We are also starting to plan the next Bb conference on November 8th 2018, and I was able to spend some time last week in Washington with David Downey of the International Downtown Association, speaking on BID issues shared between our countries and ways in which we might be able to work together. He has agreed to be one of our keynotes speakers at the conference next year and we look forward to seeing him there and speaking further.
British BIDs is pleased that membership still grows and we welcome Royal Tunbridge Wells Together as new members this month.
Professor Christopher Turner, Chief Executive, British BIDs