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Industry Standards launched to support Business Improvement Districts

17 Dec 2020

The new Industry Standards, developed by The BID Foundation alongside governments and BIDs, encourage transparency and responsible governance in the sector.

The BID Foundation Members have begun adoption of the Standards, which award a kite mark to display to levy payers and other stakeholders.


The BID Foundation, a group of 89 Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) that lead the evolution of the industry, has launched new guidance to help demonstrate and raise standards of governance and transparency in the sector.

The set of 11 Industry Standards has been developed in consultation with BIDs, levy payer groups and policy makers, including the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Welsh Government.

Helping to inform levy payers and other stakeholders, the Standards cover key aspects of a BID’s structure and operations including its business plan, governance and reporting, Directors and personal interests, and detail on ballot results.

Delivering on research recommendations

Introducing industry standards for BIDs was a recommendations of recent research into the BID sector and its development in the UK, published last year by the Institute of Place Management[1].

Led by its Council, 22 practitioners that govern the organisation, The BID Foundation has developed the Industry Standards for all BIDs, highlighting information and documentation that should be made publicly accessible and easily identifiable by every BID.

Bill Addy, Chair of The BID Foundation Council and Chief Executive of the Liverpool BID Company, said:

“This is a crucial piece of work to support BIDs. The Industry Standards further demonstrate the professionalism of BIDs that adopt them, and of the wider sector, which has stepped forward in 2020 to provide support to thousands of local businesses.

The BID Foundation commissioned the ‘State-of-the-Art’ report in 2019 which identified the need for standards, and to continue to drive high performance. On behalf of The BID Foundation and its Members, we welcome their introduction”.

Among the 11 Industry Standards are the publishing of contact details of the BID Chief Executive or BID Manager, an explanation of feedback mechanisms for levy payers, and both a procurement policy and all minutes of financial decisions.

Independent review

The Industry Standards are awarded following an independent review process conducted by the Institute of Place Management, the professional body for place managers and leaders, based at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Andrew Cooper, Chief Executive of LeedsBID, one of the first BIDs to achieve the Industry Standards, said:

Business Improvement Districts operate for the benefit of the levy payers they serve, and these new Industry Standards set by The BID Foundation, give reassurance to levy payers that BIDs are transparent, open and professionally operated.

These 11 standards were achieved by LeedsBID, the largest BID outside of London, and we are pleased to be part of this initiative.  Going forward we would like all BIDs in the UK to achieve this industry kite mark of good practice established by The BID Foundation.

Since their introduction in 2004 in Britain, BIDs have assumed an important role in developing and overseeing the management of high streets, town centres and commercial areas. The Industry Standards recognise this role and support the continued professionalisation and evolution of BIDs.

Find out more

Find out more about the Industry Standards and how to apply




[1] A State-of-the-Art Review of Business Improvement Districts in the UK: Setting the Agenda for Policy



About the author


Formed in 2006, the Institute of Place Management is the international professional body that supports people committed to developing, managing and making places better.

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