What is a BID?

In February 2022, the Eastern City business community voted to establish a formal Business Improvement District (BID) in the area, after the success of its predecessor – the EC Partnership. 

Business Partnerships and Business Improvement Districts give a voice to business communities – championing local priorities and ensuring the right people are at the decision table. Businesses understand that together they can be stronger; lobbying on big, strategic issues that impact on their commercial performance and ability to grow. This is not a case of the private sector plugging public sector funding gaps, but genuine collaboration and collective action.

A BID operates in 5-year terms. Through mandatory business levies and voluntary contributions, the BID will raise over £20 million during its first term, which will fund a range of strategic and operational projects anchored by the ESG agenda.

The EC BID is the UK’s largest occupier BID by income. The BID’s programme will focus on:

  • Creating a greener, cleaner and more welcoming City for all, ensuring the area’s built environment adapts to post COVID trends and supports the renaissance of London.
  • Placing social purpose and value at the heart of the offer. There will be an aspiration to ensure that the area is known for its inclusivity, diversity and innovation and projects across a range of areas, such as wellbeing, advocacy, and education will be delivered.
  • The BID being a democratic and collective voice for all the local business community that encourages good growth, championing an area that is diverse and inclusive for SME’s as well as major corporate brands.
  • Showcasing the area’s contribution to the global economy and promoting its wide appeal to future investors, workers and visitors. The EC BID area’s position as a global influencer will be bolstered through a targeted programme of activity driven by the BID in the coming 5 years.

BIDs are established via a ballot of eligible businesses and if successful a small levy is charged and the money raised is then invested into local projects and programmes developed through collaboration with the business community. There are now more than 60 BIDs across London, and already two in the City: the Cheapside Business Alliance and the Aldgate Connect BID.

Should a BID be created in the EC Partnership area this would be one of the biggest BIDs in the UK, able to have a transformational impact in the area and be a powerful force for good in the Square Mile.