A Business Improvement District (BID) is a defined area within which businesses elect to pay a levy in order to fund projects within the district's boundaries.
The BID is often funded primarily through the levy but can also attract extra funding from other public and private funding streams.
For a BID to go ahead the ballot must be won on two counts: a straight majority and majority of rateable value. This ensures that the interests of large and small businesses are protected.
In Southampton’s case the area will involve over 600 businesses that are eligible to vote and cover an area stretching from Bedford Place in the north to the waterfront in the south, and the station in the west to Southampton Solent University in the East.
Cllr Simon Letts, leader of Southampton City Council, said: “The cabinet was impressed by the thorough piece of work that has been undertaken by the BID steering group in the preparation of their proposals.
“A successful BID will bring significant benefits to the city, and will support the council’s vision to make Southampton an even better place to do business, live and visit.”
If successful, the BID could transform the city centre and follow the lead set by more than 200 BIDs currently operating in the UK.
Are you a business owner in Southampton? Let us know your thoughts on a BID in the comments section below.