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What is a BID?

A Business Improvement District (BID) scheme is a business-led initiative supported by government legislation which gives local businesses the power to ‘raise funds locally to be spent locally’ on improving their trading environment. The BID programme is funded by the businesses themselves through a levy on non-domestic rates. BID schemes usually operate for a period of 5 years. For the BID to go ahead, two conditions must be met: over 50% of businesses that vote must vote in favour. Those businesses voting ‘yes’ must represent more than 50% of the total rateable value (RV) of all votes cast. If both these conditions are fulfilled, payment of the levy becomes mandatory for ALL eligible businesses, regardless of how they voted. The process is controlled under the watchful eye of the Electoral Commission to ensure the result is democratic.

In 2013, when the first Weymouth BID was formed, it was the 87th live BID in the UK, there are now over 270 live BIDs across the UK, a statistic that speaks for itself. In May 2013, the prospective Weymouth levy payers voted and Weymouth BID successfully achieved a “Yes” vote on both conditions based on the following results:

This gave the Weymouth BID a clear mandate to proceed and was a better turnout percentage than many national and local elections.

Some 107 local businesses have worked with the BID on BID1 projects so far, helping to support employment in the town.

Ballot Result

Weymouth BID successfully achieved a “Yes” vote in May 2013 on both conditions based on the following results:

  • Total potential voters: 592     
  • Total potential RV: 20,819,150
  • Actual Turnout: 46% (274 Votes)


  • A 69% YES Vote  (189)
  • A 68 % YES Vote by rateable Value (6,698,550)
  • No Votes: 84
  • No Votes by Rateable Value: 3,114,400

Full results (PDF)

Useful Links

Voice Recordings from Weymouth BID COO's interview with Air FM


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