HWBIDCo is the independent business partnership that works on behalf of businesses within the town centre. We are here to represent business interests and to deliver projects that address issues that do not generally fall within the remit of the District Council. We are an independent not-for-profit company, limited by guarantee. We are not “the council”.
Our structure is that of a Business Improvement District (BID) company. This is a formal, legal structure that enables part of our funding to be generated through a supplementary levy on local business rates – broadly charged at 1% of rateable value (some minor exceptions are applied which can be found in more detail here).
We are not unusual in applying this structure. There are over 130 other BID companies elsewhere in the UK and Ireland (and actually across the world). Close to High Wycombe, this includes Newbury, Reading, Swindon, Winchester and many London Boroughs. Further information can be found at www.ukbids.org
Adopting a BID structure can only happen if local ratepayers vote for it to happen – it is not a default position, and must be proposed by an independent organisation. Every business ratepayer in our BID Area had the opportunity to vote upon a formal proposal document via an independent ballot process delivered by the Electoral Reform Services. Click here for a copy of our formal business proposal . In addition, here is a simple explanatory booklet.
We achieved the legal required “dual majority” – 61% of those that voted, in number and 67% of equivalent rateable value (we required a minimum of 50% for each).
You need to know some key facts:
We started formally on 1st October 2012, with bills being issued the same day
We have kept staffing to a mimimum to maximise spend on project activity, so there are only two of us employed – this can sometimes influence our capacity to deliver multiple projects or to react to new issues
We have a Board elected by business ratepayers who chose to nominate and vote
We have issued working copy of a 1st year business plan which has been formally signed off by our Board in November
We have a simple list of project headings available which will provide an easy way to see what we plan to deliver in the first year (these are not in priority order and are not exclusive – challenge us to provide something if you think it is missing from the list)