A BID is a business-led initiative where businesses work together and invest collectively to improve their own business environment. BIDs across Scotland focus on what is a priority for their town or area. A BID creates a partnership between businesses across town and key stakeholders.

A BID is not a substitute for central or local government investment, but an additional investment to strengthen the local economy and give local businesses a unified voice, helping to provide an arena for businesses and local authorities to increase their understanding of each others priorities.

A BID is an investment in added value services that will support the local trading environment. The crucial benefit of a BID is that the goals and actions are set by the business community for the benefit of the local business community. Expenditure is targeted to get the best return on the bottom line. Projects are agreed after extensive consultation and the investment is spent locally, in local business for the local community.

Normally a partnership with the local authority, a rural BID is also likely to be a partnership with the local Development Trust, Heritage Trust or Community Council or any other local group which has the same objectives as the business improvement district or there is a need to collectively work together to bring about improvement to the local area.

Whilst common projects for business improvement districts relate to access (public transport), safety and security, cleansing and marketing and promotion, rural projects could also include renewable energy, local employment, digital connections, workshops and arts centres, public sector asset transfer and the delivery of local services.)

A rural improvement district can contribute to,

  • The growth of sustainable businesses in rural areas
  • Broadening and strengthening the rural economy
  • Improving the accessibility and quality of public and commercial services that local people and businesses depend on
  • Help to build resilient sustainable rural communities

The different types of BIDs are listed on the BID Scotland website here.