Frequently Asked Questions

General information about the BID

A BID is a not for profit company set up by businesses to improve their local trading environment. A BID provides a resourced service for businesses in the defined BID area with funds to spend on the projects the businesses want.  In addition to delivering projects a BID manager lobbies on behalf of businesses and negotiates the best collective deals. A BID is a legal body which can only come into being following a successful ballot. There are currently over 300 BIDs in operation in the UK including 8 in Cornwall; Penzance, St Ives, Truro, Falmouth, Newquay, Camborne, St Austell and Newham Industrial Estate.
Ballot papers were sent out to all businesses who are over a £6000 pr annum rateable value and within the BID boundary they are sent a minimum of 4 weeks before the ballot deadline. Details of the ballot were sent to all these businesses a minimum of 6 weeks before the close of the ballot.

Once dispatched, the ballot period runs for a minimum of 28 days; your ballot papers, therefore, need to be completed and returned before the deadline.

The Penzance Business Improvement District is run by a board consisting of representatives from businesses in the town who are nominated and voted in at the Annual General Meeting.

All BID levy paying businesses can put forward a representative to be a director.

The BID area is shown on the map on the BID Boundary page.
Please contact us if you are unsure if your business is included.

The current BID term will run until 31st May 2020. If we have a successful vote for a 2nd term Penzance BID will continue to run until May 31st 2025, when businesses will decide whether to renew the BID.

Money matters

The levy is payable by all businesses within the BID area that meet the requirements. All businesses pay the levy if they are above the minimum rateable value of £6,000 per annum and are located within the BID boundary.

The BID levy is 2% of the rateable value of your business premises, as your annual business rates are in excess of £6,000 e.g for a business with rates of £6000 you will pay £120 per year for your BID levy. The levy is payable each year for the five years of the BID term. The BID levy is not a new tax, it is an investment. Unlike your business rates, the money doesn’t go to Central Government. It remains in Penzance to be spent on the priorities identified by businesses in the business plan.

Business rates are collected by the local authority and handed over to central government. They are used to pay for services such as fire and social services.

The BID is a privately funded, business led initiative and does not receive funding from the government. Legal agreements with the local authority set out Baseline Agreements that outline what the public sector provides. Services provided by the BID are guaranteed to be over and above those supplied by the council’s Baseline Agreement.

Rather than the resident-driven services that councils tend to provide, the BID can offer services tailored for the business community.

The BID levy is a fund generated from a fixed percentage of a business’s rateable value and can be used on any project decided on by the businesses within the BID boundary. The Local Authority is normally the largest contributor of levy within the BID area.

The BID projects are set out in a BID Business Plan which was successfully voted in at the ballot in 2015.
The survey for the 2nd term BID Business Plan are out in August/September 2019 so that all businesses can tell us their priorities and they can be captured in the BID Business Plan for the second term to June 2025.

Cornwall Council will collect the BID levy on behalf of the BID into a ring-fenced account and then pass it over to the BID Company. This is due to the work and cost intensive nature of administering a levy system for all businesses in the BID area.


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