About the BID
BID stands for Business Improvement District (BID). It does not replace the statutory activities or services carried out by the council, police or other public agencies. It is an arrangement under which local businesses improve their own trading environment and agree via a BID operating company how the levy should be spent on a range of projects to boost the town centre, trading environment and increase footfall.
Weymouth BID is operated by We Are Weymouth Limited, a wholly independent, non-profit distributing company limited by guarantee. It has a board of up to 16 directors from local businesses.
The current Weymouth BID term operates for 4 years, 7 months. It started on 1 September 2023 and will end on 31 March 2028.
A ballot was carried out in March 2023 and all businesses in the BID area were given the opportunity to vote for or against the BID levy. The result of the ballot was a ‘yes’ vote, therefore all businesses liable for the levy are required to pay. View the ballot results.
Paying your bill
BID legislation requires local authorities to be the billing body, our local authority is Dorset Council. All money collected is passed to the BID operating company, We Are Weymouth Limited.
The bill is due in one annual instalment in September and payment should be made to Dorset Council (not the BID directly) using one of Dorset Council’s payment methods.
How your bill is calculated
Your annual BID bill will show the rate at which your BID levy is calculated.
The BID levy is set at a rate of 1.5% of your rateable value for a business with rateable value of £6000 or more. If you own 2 or more properties in the BID area, you will receive 2 separate BID bills.
The levy is based on the non-domestic ratings list as of 1 April 2023. The levy will change if the rateable value of the property also changes.
The BID levy will apply to all persons or organisations liable to pay the non-domestic rates for eligible hereditaments located within the BID Area. The levy will be applied to all eligible non-domestic properties or hereditaments with the rateable value (RV) of £6,000 and above within the BID area. Non-domestic properties or hereditaments within the BID area with a rateable value below £6,000 will be exempt from the BID levy.
The BID levy for each property or hereditament will be calculated at 1.5% of the current rateable value. The BID Levy will be calculated using the Local Non-Domestic Rating List as at 1 April 2023. Any adjustments to the valuations or liable party will be made from the effective date it is registered. From 1 April 2026, the Levy will be calculated using the most up-to-date list as of that date. Any adjustments to the valuations or liable party will be made from the effective date it is registered.
The BID levy will not be affected by the Small Business Rate Relief scheme introduced in April 2005.
Problems paying your bill
If you experience difficulty in paying the BID levy, you should contact the BID office by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Refusing to pay
It is hoped that all businesses will see the benefits of contributing to the BID. In the event of non-payment, on behalf of the BID operating company (We Are Weymouth Limited), the council will recover any sums due in line with normal recovery processes. This may mean that defaulters receive a reminder, final notice and may face ultimately court proceedings. However, the council will liaise with Weymouth BID to discuss such cases and Weymouth BID will encourage payment for the benefit of all.
Moving and empty properties
Unoccupied and part-occupied premises will be liable for the full levy. In the case of vacant premises, the liability rests with the landlord or ratepayer.
The BID levy must be paid by any new ratepayer occupying an existing eligible non-domestic rateable property within the BID area up until the end of the BID term, even if they did not vote in the ballot. Any new rateable businesses hereditament created during the lifetime of the BID and situated in the BID area will be obliged to pay the levy on the next chargeable day.
Any business whose rateable value changes due to alterations will be charged at the new rate on the next chargeable day.
Where a property is vacant, undergoing refurbishment or being demolished, the owner will be entitled to vote and obliged to pay the levy with no void period.
Full liability rests with the non-domestic ratepayer of the premises. The levy is payable in full within the timescales provided on the invoice issued by Dorset Council. No refunds will be given with the exception of a levy payer ceasing to be liable during the Charging Period. Then the BID levy will be apportioned to the day that their liability ends. The local authority can then issue a refund for any overpayment and issue a Demand Notice to the new BID levy payer for the remainder of the chargeable period.
Business properties included in the BID levy
The BID area is defined in the BID3 Business Plan.
All liable businesses in the BID area will receive a BID bill, apart from a small number of exempt properties (see page 14 of the business plan) which will not pay a levy.
Business Rates and the BID levy are completely separate.
Business rates are a statutory local tax levied to provide generic services by the local authority.
The BID levy will pay for specific services and functions which are on top of services that local councils provide. These additional services are decided by the Weymouth BID Board in consultation with all businesses in the BID geography to increase footfall and consumer spend within the BID area.