Business Improvement District (BID)

A Business Improvement District (a BID) is a business-led and business-funded body, formed to improve a defined commercial area. BIDs have now been operating across the UK for over a decade with well over 260 BIDs established in the UK.  A BID can unlock meaningful initiatives in town and city centres to improve the quality of people’s everyday lives.

After a period of consultation with businesses within Exeter City Centre area a Business Improvement District was voted in with a majority for the five-year period 2015 to 2020. To fund the work of the operational organisation – The Exeter BID Company Ltd - each business within the BID area must pay a compulsory contribution, referred to as the BID levy. The payment of a BID levy is mandatory and this is bound in UK law.

The Exeter BID levy is 1% of the rateable value of the premises that a business occupies where the premises have a rateable value of £7,500 or more. The money is collected by Exeter City Council on behalf of the Exeter BID Company.  It is a ring-fenced fund and decisions about expenditure are made by the BID Board of Directors.  Funds are for use only in the BID area – unlike business rates which are paid into, and redistributed, by government.

A 5-year business plan spanning the current 5-year term of the BID provides the framework for the spending of the levy income. This business plan contains projects that have been approved by the local businesses within the BID area and can be viewed on the Exeter BID website:  

A consumer-focused website, was launched in May 2016. This features and promotes events, activities, places to eat and drink, retail outlets and accommodation all within the BID area.

For more information about the Exeter BID and how the BID funds are to be spent between now and 2020, when it will come up for renewal, go to or email  

When this content has been updated

Last updated 3 February 2017