BRADFORD city centre is set to be a more vibrant and secure place if multi-million pound plans for a Business Improvement District (BID) continue to gather momentum.

It is a big year for the BID, which is a union of district business bosses, as a survey was completed last year and a ballot to see if the plans take place, will be held in the autumn.

What is a BID?

It is a business-led and business funded body formed to improve a defined commercial area. Most are governed by a board made up of firms who represent the BID area. This means that businesses would decide and direct what they want for the city.

BIDs are considered to be the leading model of management and development of town and city centres. It is anticipated that more than £500,000 per year could be raised in Bradford to promote and add to the vitality of the city, increase footfall across the entire city centre.

Who is involved in Bradford’s BID?

The project is spearheaded by The Broadway manager Ian Ward, who is chairman of the Bradford BID Development Group. Other support has come from Diana Greenwood, of Visit Bradford; city centre manager Jonny Noble; Sandy Needham, of the West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, and Trevor Higgins, of Bradford Breakthrough.

How will it help to improve Bradford?

After a survey was held with Bradford firms, it was suggested what improvements should be considered. These include improving the appearance of empty shops, more city centre events or festivals, improvements to problem areas - graffiti or fly-tipping removal, more activities at Christmas, improvements to security - such as more policing.

Other suggestions included projects to boost investment into Bradford, more marketing and promotion to bring Bradford to a wider audience, greater lobbying and championing of Bradford.

What area is included in the BID?

An initial BID boundary covering the whole of Bradford city centre, the Kirkgate and Broadway shopping centres was proposed. This would mean that 585 businesses are eligible to take part.

How is it paid for?

It is funded by firms paying usually between one per cent and 1.75 per cent of their business rateable value towards the scheme. The money is ring-fenced so it can only be used in the BID area.

A levy of 1.25 per cent is being muted for Bradford, which organisers say small businesses with a rateable value of £20,000 would put £250 each year into the fund.

A medium-sized firm with a rateable value of £70,000 would pump in £875 per year and a large business with a £140,000 rateable value would bring in £1,750 every 12 months to BID.

The survey of Bradford businesses in the BID area said it would bring in £419,000 each year for the project. Firms from outside Bradford city centre may also add to this annual total.

Has it been done anywhere else?

There are almost 300 similar projects currently operating across the United Kingdom. Examples of similar schemes include the Keighley BID.

Launched in 2016, it aimed to generate £1.4 million for the town during the next five years to help revive the town centre.

The BID secured a majority vote in November 2015, with 78.6 per cent of businesses supporting the scheme in a ballot.

As part of the venture, firms paid a 1.5 per cent levy on top of their standard business rate.

How do I support or object to the idea?

Go to to give your opinions/views on the BID project.

When might it start?

A survey of city centre businesses and organisations was held from July last year and a detailed report into the feasibility of the project was produced in November 2017.

The BID’s business plan will be launched in June and a ballot of those affected will be issued in September 2018. The ballot will take place in October, with the declaration of the result announced in October.

The Bradford BID’s board of directors, including the appointment of its staff. The BID will begin in December this year.

How long will it last?

BIDs last for up to five years, which would generate more than £2.5m in Bradford.