A Business Improvement District (BID) - is a partnership created, controlled and managed by and for local businesses.

BIDs usually have 3 primary roles:
1. more footfall - making the local area more attractive for shopping and related activities and thus for running a business - projects such as Christmas lights, events (eg markets and fayres), marketing, promotion, cleaning, greening etc.
2. saving money - collective purchasing by the businesses of utilities etc means independent businesses should save more than they spend
3. a strong voice - with the council and other public agencies to ensure the GR is looked upon more as a destination than a travel corridor

Do we need a Business Improvement District? High streets are under massive pressure from the internet, supermarkets, out-of-town retailing, the economy and questionable transport policies.

Even though the GR is strong now it may not be tomorrow. A BID will enable local businesses to work together to improve the trading environment and public space in a proactive and planned way to fight back against these pressures.

Who controls it? The BID is controlled in two ways:
1. The BID Proposal and Business Plan - this has to be agreed in advance of a vote (see below) based on consultation with businesses. This creates a broad framework within which the BID must operate.
2. The BID Company - ie a limited company is established in which local businesses are the members who each have a vote to annually elect a board drawn from amongst themselves
A fundamental of BIDs is that the local businesses very much stay in control of the money raised.

Who pays for it? Businesses in a BID area pay for the BID which is collected via a BID levy of 1-2% of rateable value.

How much will it cost me? A well run BID should save most businesses more than they spend by organising collective purchasing deals for utilities, waste etc. Clearly the power of several hundred businesses negotiating as a 'block' creates economies of scale that generate significant savings. These savings have been shown to outweigh the BID 'levy' which is expected to be 1-2% of rateable value - ie £250-300 pa - which is charged to businesses in the BID area.

The Vote.

All of this is subject to a BID vote by all the businesses that will pay the BID levy if the BID goes ahead. The vote is carried out strictly independently through the council by a postal ballot - businesses are asked to vote a simple YES or NO - are they in favour of the BID. If more than 50%+ vote YES (by number of businesses and by total rateable value) then the BID goes ahead for five years.

Does everyone pay? If there is a YES vote then all businesses have to pay regardless of whether they voted no or didn't vote at all.
The legislation is designed this way to ensure that as all will benefit...all should pay. The BID can elect to make exceptions such as excluding the smallest businesses (as with some it will cost more to collect their levy than they are actually charged) - this is subject to further consultation.

An article recently appeared in the GRTA online forum entitled 'BIDS are for failing High Streets'. Not withstanding that highly successful retail locations from Oxford Street to Bath City Centre have BIDs, the GRTA Chair penned the following response:

1. “BIDs are for failing high streets. Gloucester Road has survived the recent years of recession and is thriving. The cost of the BID levy could drive some traders out of business and this could create a domino effect along the whole road.”

BIDs are not for failing high streets. A BID is a way for trading communities to raise money that can then be spent for that community and by that community to better themselves. It would be short sighted in the extreme to think that, just because we are not failing, there are no challenges for us to face or that there are no ways the community can be improved. While it is theoretically true that any increase in expenditure could make the difference between a business remaining solvent or not, the BID levy is structured so that the smaller businesses pay the least and the bigger businesses pay more such that the impact of the levy should not be too severe on struggling businesses; it is also important to remember that this is money that will be used to increase the trade in the area which should mitigate the cost of the levy and hopefully increase revenues so that it represents very good value for money.

2. Aren’t BIDs based on the idea of a ‘managed high street’ which is contrary to the culture of small independent businesses which is Gloucester Road’s unique selling point?

Each BID is unique and the aims of the BID are defined by its membership. There has never been a suggestion that we should move to a “managed high street” model here. Coming together to organise objectively good things for the trading community in no way diminishes the independence of the traders.

3. A BID will be divisive. It will mean an enthusiastic minority imposing an annual BID of £100s on all businesses in the BID area.

It is true that the BID has those enthusiastically for it but there are also those, equally vocal, who are against. I, personally, do not feel that this needs to be divisive. In an area made up of so many independent voices it would be entirely unrealistic to expect unanimity. This is why we are encouraging everyone to engage with the consultation process, to get as much information regarding the BID as possible, to make up their own minds and to vote.

4. How can the money raise by a BID levy be spent fairly along such a long road.

This will indeed be a challenge if the BID goes ahead. There are, however, numerous things that can be done to benefit the road as a whole. Marketing the road as a destination, an effective GR website and collective purchasing are but a few ways that would benefit the road as a whole.

5. Supporting the Judicial Review of the proposed Sainsbury’s supermarket on the Memorial Ground which could kill Gloucester Road is a more urgent short-term and long term issue than making Gloucester Road a Business Improvement District?

Supporting the JR of the planning application is indeed one of the ways that traders on the road can contribute now. TRASH will need to have raised sufficient funds for their legal challenge soon or it (in my view the best and only hope of stopping the new Sainsburys) will fail. It is a matter for individual traders as to whether or not they wish to donate to this cause. It is, however, entirely separate from the proposed BID. The vote for the BID will not happen until spring 2014 at the earliest by which point TRASH will have either raised the money or not and their legal challenge will be unaffected by the outcome of the vote. It is worth noting that if a BID had already been in place then supporting causes like TRASH would be one of the ways that BID funds could be spent if appropriate.

6. The devious, divisive and undemocratic approach of the BID proposers is clear from the fact that they have employed the same BID consultant who masterminded the ‘successful’ BID in Bedminster by excluding all the smaller businesses from being consulted or from voting by exempting them from the levy, even though the amount they would have had to pay was very small.

It would be strange indeed for Gloucester Road Ltd. to have employed the services of a consultant without a proven track record of getting BIDs off the ground. There was nothing devious about this process nor was it undemocratic. The consultant is answerable to Gloucester Road Ltd. a company with membership open to all traders within the proposed BID. Recent elections to the board of GR Ltd. were well publicised and open to all members. It is he who acts under our oversight and direction and not the other way around. Given that the smaller businesses in the Bedminster BID have been exempted from the BID levy (but not from the benefits of the BID) it is perhaps unsurprising that they were not given a vote.

7. The ‘Consultation’ is a sham and will result in a minority imposing a BID levy on majority who will not have voted for it.

It is extremely disheartening to those traders who have freely given up large amounts of their time to work on the consultation exercise to have their efforts unfairly labelled a sham. It is nothing of the sort but rather represents our best efforts at getting the information about the BID out to as many of the traders in the area as possible. It is done in good faith, with no agenda other than wanting the best for the road. Of course it is not a perfect process. We are not being paid for our time and all have businesses to run. We are doing our best. Offers of help are welcome.

8. The flyers and brochures about the BID have been misleading, one-sided, pro-BID spin.

I do not accept that the BID information presented to traders thus far has been misleading (I will deal with individual issues below) but I accept that the BID brochures given to traders presents the positive aspects of the proposed BID. The GRTA and now GR Ltd. are the proposers of the BID and we are responsible for getting the information out to traders as to why we feel it is a positive move for the street. We obviously accept that there are potential downsides to the BID the most obvious of which is the extra cost to traders. This is made clear in the literature disseminated thus far. It is also true to say that we disagree with many of the suggested downsides to the proposals. With hindsight it would, perhaps, have been better to raise some of these issues in the brochure and address them directly but that was, given the time constraints of those working on it and the limited budget that the literature was produced on not done.

We are still at a relatively early stage in the consultation process that will carry on right up to the vote which will not happen until next spring at the earliest. The brochure included feedback forms for traders to fill in and return with their views and concerns and traders have also had the opportunity to attend the current round of meetings to air any issues they have.

9. The few (4) consultation meetings in July and August were in inappropriate places and not at convenient times. There was only one meeting, at Rimandos, at a few days’ notice for the longest section of Gloucester Road (above Pigsty Hill) and another of the 4 meetings was not even in Gloucester Road: it was in Cheltenham Road next to Colston’s Girls’ School.

The first four meetings were essentially a “pre-consultation” used to test the water to see if it was worth continuing with the much more intensive and in depth consultation process that we are currently engaged with. Both the time available and the budget for these meetings was small. Efforts were made to have meetings at various places within the proposed area to make it accessible to as many traders as possible but, although best efforts were made, I accept that this process was not perfect. In the current round of consultation we have made efforts to improve with an increased number of meetings in several locations at varying times, unfortunately it would be nigh on impossible to cater to everyone.

In the coming weeks and months there will be the opportunity to discuss the BID one on one and every effort will be made to engage with as high a number of traders as is possible.

10. At the July Rimandos meeting, only 4 businesses attended. One of them reported over 50 objections to a BID but these were ignored because the objectors did not attend in person.

Obviously we would have liked a higher level of attendance at these meetings but this was at the very beginning of the consultation process and we are confident that the level of engagement will increase as we move forward. We are giving our best efforts to make this happen.

As to the reported 50 objections, I hope it is clear why this was not given the weight some would have liked. Imagine the situation where someone had claimed to represent 50 traders enthusiastic for the BID and that had been used to inflate the positive feeling on the street; I think there would have been a good deal of (justifiable) outrage from those opposed.

11. After the Rimandos meeting the BID Consultant said he was not worried about the small attendance because they had “got away with it” in Bedminster when the same thing happened with consultation meetings there.

I am unable to comment on this alleged comment as I was not present. It is true to say that, with the information we have, the level of attendance at these meetings was not unusual, given the early stage in the process at the time.

12. The 6 page glossy brochure advertising consultation meetings in October says nothing about the downsides of a BID. This is calculated to make busy traders think that the BID is going to happen anyway so there is no point in wasting time attending meetings or opposing it. The few October meetings for further ‘consultation’ were again advertised at unnecessarily short notice (a week or less) and not at a proper range of convenient times. This will enable the BID proposers to claim that meetings have been held while at the same time making sure that few people will be able to attend.

In no way was the brochure written with making traders think the BID was a foregone conclusion or in a way so as to manipulate attendance at the meetings. Saying that this was calculated to do so implies a significant level of dishonesty and bad faith on the part of those responsible for its publication. This is both offensive and, importantly, untrue.

The brochure was produced by the BID steering group made up of committee members of the GRTA all of who are traders on the street. It was written with the sole intention of providing information about the BID and encouraging engagement with the consultation process. It may not have been perfect but it certainly was not written in bad faith.

13. The ‘consultation’ is being unnecessarily rushed and will be over before Christmas. This is not enough time to explain it properly to all those who will be affected. Most BIDs take 18 months to prepare properly.

The consultation will not be over before Christmas but will continue into the new year. We will continue to engage with traders and address their issues and concerns up to the vote next spring.

14. Traders association money is being wasted on the fees of a paid BID Consultant. It is not a legal requirement to have BID Consultant. Clifton put their Business Improvement District in place without a paid consultant.

I hope it is clear that we do not feel that money is being wasted on a BID consultant. The BID application, consultation and vote processes are complex matters and there is simply more work to be done than we, as volunteers all with our own businesses to run, could do on our own. It is true that Clifton did not use a paid consultant but, as I understand it, if they had their time again they would have done things very differently having underestimated the work they would have to put in and the impact it would have on them. Nor should people think that this is money that the GRTA could have spent on other things. We have received funds specifically on this basis that would not have been available had we not been proposing a BID.

15. When the Consultant was taken on, was there a proper process of advertisement and selection? Was there a proper job description and skills specification to make sure that candidates fitted the role? Once appointed, what was the consultant’s brief? Was there a written Consultancy Agreement?

The services of the BID consultant were initially engaged before many of those on the current board were involved in the process and as such my knowledge of the beginnings of this relationship is not complete. There was, however, a clear lack of transparency and of well defined roles and goals for the consultant. This was a mistake. I do not believe this was in any way due to bad faith but rather a symptom of the fact that, at the time, there were very few people who had time to give to the GRTA.

Following the end of the initial consultation period (the four meetings) and with new members coming forward to serve on the committee, this issue was revisited and a contract was drawn up to put the relationship with the consultant on a much more productive footing with well defined goals, responsibilities and oversight by a dedicated sub-committee.

16. The consultation process has been divisive instead of promoting the unity of Gloucester Road. The aggravation aroused by the BID has been so intense that the GoogleGroup traders’ email forum has had to be discontinued and replaced by a more tortuous system of applying for membership, and the logging on each time with a user-name and password. This means that traders will no longer automatically receive information or discussion about the BID or about any other traders’ association activities either.

This is not why the Google Group was shut down. By far and away the biggest and most common complaint in the run up to the final meeting of the GRTA and amongst those I talked to at the meeting was the Google Group. Many felt that it was being hijacked by a small number of vocal traders engaging in “petty squabbles” and “pointless rants”. Many traders, fed up with their inboxes filling up to unmanageability, unsubscribed entirely in frustration. This was easy to understand as, with the way the group was set up, everyone was copied in to every email and response. It had become too much. It also meant that discussions quickly became unwieldy, spread over a number of threads and requiring sifting through unrelated discussions to find the information sought.

While the new forum does indeed require a log in, this is hardly a significant burden for the benefits it brings (and you can check a box on logging in to stay logged in forever). Discussions on distinct topics can be kept in one place and it becomes much easier to find the discussion you are looking for. It allows traders to catch up on information at their own pace without their inboxes creaking under the pressure. Indeed the forum was generally very well received when Fran first proposed it. In my view, the move to the forum represents a big step forward in how traders can communicate and it is more than a little frustrating to have it spun as an effort to stifle debate. It is the exact opposite.

We will continue to contact traders directly and provide information through our regular news letter that will be emailed directly.

17. The proposal to extend the BID boundary beyond Gloucester Road, to include Zetland Road and much of Cheltenham Road, not only dilutes the Gloucester Road brand but also creates an artificial number of ‘yes’ voters who want to be associated with Gloucester Road by being in the Gloucester Road Business Improvement District.

The proposed BID boundary has been extended to include the areas mentioned as they naturally form part of the trading area. They are subject to the same challenges that we, on Gloucester Road, face and they benefit directly from any improvements to the road. Including them within the fold in no way dilutes the Gloucester Road brand but rather strengthens it by including businesses that have much to offer our trading community. I do not accept the contention that traders will vote yes simply to be associated with Gloucester Road and have seen no evidence to suggest this. Limiting the area to those businesses that have a Gloucester Road address would be artificial, drawing arbitrary lines through what is a continuous trading area.

18. All the possible options for different shapes of BID have not been presented. The ‘consultation’ is based on misleading assumptions, e.g. that:

o we need to have a levy that raises as much as £90,000 per year
o the levy has to be of enough money to pay a full-time (pro rata) BID Project Manager
o the levy has to be either 1.5% or 2% of the rateable value of each business
o That the levy has to be high because the Council will not collect relatively small amounts of BID levy (or that it would be “immoral” to ask them to do so)
• He also has a vested interest in selling a particular kind of BID – one which raises enough income to pay for a regular part-time Project Manager.
• He also has a vested interest in getting a ‘Yes’ vote as quickly as possible (with the minimum of consultation) before the funds to pay for his consultancy run out.
• There would also be a temptation to give a misleading impression about the amount of real consultation, for example by holding several consultation meetings but at such short notice, or at such limited times of day, that only a few can attend.
• There would be a temptation to ‘spin’ the BID information in favour of a BID instead of presenting a balanced view for and against.
• There would be a temptation to increase the BID boundary area beyond Gloucester Road – more businesses included, means more levy to cover Project Manager’s fees.
• There would be a temptation to seek to include big organisations that are not traders in the levy, such as the Prison or the Cricket Ground or the City of Bristol College in Ashley Down.
• There would be a temptation to close down the email forum so that traders do not hear critical voices and so that the voice of those (possibly a majority) who do not support the BID as proposed is less likely to be heard.

It is, of course, true that not all of the possible “shapes” of BID have been presented; this would not be a realistic proposition if we are to attempt to arrive at a consensus. What is being presented is what we feel is the best package for the area. This is not set in stone. There will be a fresh election of the board (open to all businesses within the area) on the event of a yes vote and it will be up to the new board to implement the BID. There are many things that would seem obvious targets for the money raised but I am sure there will be many no one has thought of yet.

We don’t “need” a levy that raises £90,000 per year but the scope of the projects open to the bid shrinks with less money available. We feel that a 2% levy represents a balance between contributions and what we can hope to achieve.

The levy does not have to be high enough to pay for a full time BID manager. In fact it is very unlikely that a full time manager would be required given the size of the fund to manage. It is likely though that the BID would be helped by people who are paid for their work, a part time admin assistant perhaps or a specialist consultant to deal with particular issues. Who these are and what they will be paid cannot be decided by anyone other than the board elected once the BID is in place.

The morality point is that if we ask the council to spend more to collect from businesses than they are collecting then we are essentially asking the wider taxpayer to pay into the BID coffers. This is, however, essentially irrelevant as the minimum likely BID levy will be higher than the cost of collection.

19. Information about the BID has been misleading about a crucial issue. The October BID brochure says, “…If more than 50%+ vote YES (by number of businesses and by total rateable value) then it goes ahead." However, the truth is that the ‘majority’ required is a majority of those who vote. So if there were only 100 voters and the vote was 51 to 49 in favour of a BID, 51 enthusiasts could impose the BID levy on the other 90% of traders who did not vote for it. This gives the proposers an incentive to discourage as many traders as possible form voting, whether from ignorance or apathy, so that the vote in favour can be carried by a minority of enthusiasts.

I did not and do not believe this to be misinformation. The vote is counted in essentially the same way as all other public votes. If you don’t vote then your vote is not counted. Given this point though, I have been at pains to stress since it was raised that I would far rather a no vote with a high turnout than a yes vote on a low one. We have absolutely no interest in discouraging voter turnout which would equally allow a vocal minority of no voters to deny the BID against a majority of people in favour if that majority did not vote.

20. The same brochure states: “In the first meetings over 80% of those who attended were positive about the Business Improvement District”. However, (as mentioned above) at the July Rimandos meeting, only 4 businesses attended. One of them reported over 50 objections to a BID but these were ignored because the objectors did not attend in person.

This has been dealt with above

21. The brochure also claims that the BID would “…actually save most independent businesses more than they spend. This is done by organising collective purchasing deals for utilities, waste etc…. These savings have been shown to outweigh the 'levy' which is expected to be … £250-300”. The savings claim has not been substantiated. Only 2 examples are quoted. They are only for waste collection. They only relate to the Borough of Ealing. Any savings would not outweigh a Gloucester Road BID levy during the first year and might take years after that, if at all.

During the consultation there have been a number of examples given of BIDs saving money for their members via collective purchasing. Some BIDs are saving around double the amount of the levy. Of course it is true that collective purchasing will not happen overnight – it would be unrealistic to expect otherwise – but that savings can be made is clear. This misses the wider point that collective purchasing is only one of a wide range of projects that the BID would allow. It is given as an example of the benefits of a BID as it is an easy way to demonstrate how the cost of the levy can be reduced while still raising money for other projects with less easily quantifiable benefits.

22. Nowhere is it explained that at the beginning of the first year, painful levy bills will come in from the Council but it will take months for the money to be collected. Out of what the traders’ association eventually receives, the costs of the Consultancy, the Ballot (£5,000) and the remuneration of any Project Manager have to be met. So there will be very little left to spend on Gloucester Road in the first year.

This is, I’m afraid one of the points that I have not gathered the information on. I do not know exactly how long the funds from the BID levy will take to be collected, however, I do not believe the timescale to be months. The council are under a duty to pay collected levies directly into the account of the BID.

While there are, obviously, some costs associated with the BID process it is simply untrue to say that there will be very little left to spend on Gloucester road in the first year.

23. Nowhere is it made clear that the BID Board which decides how to spend the levy may include non-traders, such as the Council, the Police and other local groups.

It is up to the BID members – and them alone – to elect who sits on the board. It is possible that the board may ask non traders to sit on the board as well. That is to say that it is not prohibited. There may be benefits in, for example, having a counsellor on the board to ease with negotiations with the council or there may not. This will be up to the board. If the members do not like the decisions of the board then they will have the opportunity to replace them.

24. If there is a BID Project Manager, though s/he is nominally answerable to the BID Board elected by the traders, the risk is that the Project Manager will be calling the shots and the Board will be rubber-stamping the Project Manager's decisions

There are none of us on the current board that would consider “rubber stamping” the decisions of a consultant or employee; why would we, we are all traders on the street ourselves. At the risk of repeating myself, on the event of a yes vote, a new board will be elected that may or may not contain members of the old; it will be for them to properly manage those paid to work on the BID. If they do not do so they will be answerable to the members.

25. The expected BID levy is stated in the October Brochure to be “£250-300” with the implication that all business can expect to pay as little as that per year. However, the truth is that many medium-sized businesses could be paying twice that amount and larger businesses £1,000 or more per year.

It should be clear, I hope, from the method of calculation of the BID levy as a percentage of rateable value that businesses with different rateable values will contribute different amounts. Some will pay more than £300 but many will pay less. A business with a rateable value of £5000 will pay £100 in levy, one like mine with a rateable value of around £40,000 will pay around £800 in levy.

26. Nowhere is it proposed that there could be 6 months’ more consultation and ½ the proposed annual levy? This would still raise £45,000-£50,000 (cost each business half of what it proposed), be plenty enough to pay for special events at Christmas and in the Summer, and still have surplus each year for other things?

That these have not been proposed does not mean that they have not been considered. We do not believe that a further six months of consultation will do anything other than prolong the process unnecessarily. The information for and against a BID is not going to change and we believe that the best hope of engaging with the trading community and maintaining enthusiasm for a vote (yes or no) lies with the current timetable. Were we to delay by six months the most likely outcome is of significantly reduced voter turnout, something that no one wants.

In relation to the level of the levy, I have addressed this above; a smaller sum raised greatly reduces the scope of the projects available for consideration.

27. The BID consultation process is being driven by the BID Consultant who charges £275 or more per day. He has said publicly that he expects the BID levy to pay for a regular part-time BID Project Manager and that he also expects to be appointed to that position, which he already holds in Bedminster after master-minding their BID.

The BID process is in no way being driven by the BID consultant. He is answerable to the current board of GR Ltd. and it is us who decide the work he does. The content of the BID proposal is overseen by us. Most of the work done is by us. The decision to use his services at all rests with us and later with the new board if there is a yes vote. He may expect that a part time BID manager will be appointed, he may even recommend it and tender for the position himself. He may expect to be appointed. These are, however, not decisions that he gets to make and will be taken in full consideration of the merits. It is a long way from a foregone conclusion.

28. This means that he has a vested interest in “selling” the Gloucester Road BID, rather than explaining the pros and costs objectively.

He may have such vested interests (as would any consultant in his position). We do not. We have a vested interest in doing the best for the trading community we are part of and it is us who make the decisions.

29. There would also be a temptation to minimise the need for consultation and manipulate the voting by arranging for smaller business to be exempt from the levy and therefore from voting.

It is hard to take these points without the feeling that what is meant is that this is actually what has been done. This is flatly untrue.

Smaller businesses simply are not being excluded from the process. They are included and thus will have a vote.

The meetings were not arranged to minimise attendance but rather to maximise it. There have been eleven consultation meetings to date and the process is continuing and will continue into the new year. Meetings have been held at various locations and at various times because of this. The process was not perfect; it would have been impossible to organise meeting convenient to all and this is why we are continuing to engage with those who were unable or unwilling to attend the meetings.

There has been no effort to “spin” the BID information. We have presented the information on what a BID is, what it means in terms of cost and what the expected benefits for that cost would be.

The decision to extend the BID area beyond Gloucester Road is as a result of limiting it to those businesses with a Gloucester Road address would be an entirely arbitrary approach and would not reflect the reality of the trading community that we operate. It was absolutely not done with any consideration of project manager’s fees.

The proposition of including non traders is not one that has been discussed in detail and I, for one, do not see the merits of including organisations such as those listed. They would, of course increase the funds available to the BID but would benefit little, if at all, from the money raised. I cannot speak for the other members of the board on this as, as mentioned, it has not been discussed but I would be surprised if they were to be included in the BID.

In relation to the closure of the Google Group, I had tried to make the reasoning clear when it happened. By far and away the most common complaint voiced to us was that the group was not fit for purpose, that it had been hijacked by infighting between small numbers of very vocal members and that people were sick of it. Large numbers of traders had withdrawn completely from the group as a direct result of this and were not reachable through this medium. The move to the forum was an effort to resolve this issue and for no other reason.

oUR bid
We are delighted that the BID ballot has been won with a majority of 55% and 58% by number of businesses and by rateable value (and a turnout of 54% which is high by BID standards).

The BID Area runs from upper Cheltenham Road to Pig Sty Hill plus contiguous streets such as Zetland Road etc. 

Most of the key information for the BID may be found in the BID Proposal and Business Plan:
The BID Proposal
The BID Business Plan

Key Extracts from BID Proposal p15:
We are being advised by local solicitors (Barcan Woodward, Gloucester Road) and local Consultant Chartered Secretary Levingston Owen Ltd – who have generously offered to assist us pro-bono in the creation of a new GRTA governance structure if the BID ballot is positive that will:

• continue to represent the best interests of the whole of the Gloucester Road shopping area and adjacent
shopping streets from Ashley Down Road to Zetland Road
• ensure a GRTA Board will continue to be elected by businesses representative of the entire area (not just
the BID area)
• guarantee that BID funding is spent according to where it is raised
• be led by independent businesses

A new limited company has been set up to manage the BID activities. For avoidance of doubt the BID is part of the wider GRTA and whilst spending activities are controlled by businesses in the BID area no activities may be undertaken that would in any way damage the trading areas immediately adjacent to the BID and in particular any marketing/communications should refer to the entire street. In addition an observer from the anticipated BID extension area will be invited to all BID Steering Group meetings to represent interests of businesses outside the BID area.

The BID also commits to providing a minimum of £5,000 (out of its own BID revenues) to support an alteration ballot which may be triggered in the first 3 years of the BID term by the collection of a 75 signatory petition by business owners and operators in the BID extension area indicating support for a BID extension.

A very small project management and administration team is likely to be required to run the BID. This can be drawn from volunteers – or a part-time personnel working around 1 day per week to run projects or procure specialist suppliers working on behalf of the BID. Any such appointment will be an early decision of the Board and completed via a competitive selection process.

Please also see our BID Video:

For more information please contact a director of the the newly formed company to run the BID - namely Gloucester Road BID Ltd.

This was completed in December and includes the initial consultation which concludes the likely positive outcome of a BID for the Gloucester Road. 

Further information regarding the setting up of the BID during 2013 and 2014 may be found below: 

Please click here: Consultation Report or here Consultation Report (with full Appendices).

For a copy of the latest (third and final) consultation brochure that informed this consultation please click:


A useful introduction to BIDs:


The BID Company has just been established and nominations have been sought for directors from businesses within the BID area. 

For full details please see the latest and forthcoming newsletters and events/meetings.