Top Ten Reasons to Love Bedford

Published on 06 September 2019


1/ LOVE BEDFORD is the marketing brand of the Bedford Business Improvement District, voted for and run by town centre businesses.

2/ BedfordBID is a legal entity, formed under Labour Government legislation which Bedford helped to set in motion by being one of the 12 pilots in the UK in 2005 when Patrick Hall was MP and the late Frank Branson was Mayor of Bedford. Now there are more than 300 BIDs in the UK and they are seen by the current Government as the best way for businesses large and small to pool their resources in town centres.

3/ The BIGGEST pay the most by far and the smallest pay nothing and enjoy the benefits of the “all for one” pot of money which is managed by a voluntary Board of BID businesses. It does not pay for the ‘statutory obligations’ of our local council.

4/ New rules for what will be the 4th term of BedfordBID (re-elected every five years) means that fewer start-up and small businesses have to pay the levy. Those who were released of the burden of Business Rates under Government changes (eg businesses in receipt of small business rate relief, based on a rateable value of less than £12,001) will not have to pay the BID levy either under BID4 - a great result for independents who have welcomed the news.

5/ That pot of money is collected by the council on behalf of the BID but it is all passed to the BID to be spent according to a Business Plan being voted upon by businesses affected in October 2019.

6/ The process for the vote is already underway with Ballot Papers being sent to those businesses which will have to pay the BID 4 levy.  This is NOT a public vote. Nor is it a vote for personalities but for the entity itself, If the vote is NO, then there will be no BID in Bedford after April 2020.

7/ BedfordBID does NOT work in isolation. It is vital link between small businesses, multinational retailers, private landlords, the council, police and other agencies concerned with the town centre. In some cases joint projects attract joint funding. For instance the High Street Heritage project which boosted the town centre included a contribution of £100k by BedfordBID.

8/ Love Bedford is well established POSITIVE brand in print and across all on-line platforms with promotions, events and activities funded from the levy pot for the benefit of all businesses. Details of all these activities can be found on www.lovebedford.co.uk 

9/ A BID is valuable part of the jigsaw bringing in circa £400,000 a year which will be lost completely if businesses vote not to pay. (Business Rates go to Central Government not to the local council directly).

10/ A vote for BedfordBID is a Vote of Confidence in the town centre by business owners and operators.  Ultimately a vibrant town centre is more appealing to visitors, shoppers, future investors and the wider community.

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