ASSEMBLY BUSINESS

Business Improvement Districts Bill Call for Evidence

The Business Improvement Districts Bill will introduce provisions to allow for statutory business improvement districts (BIDs) in Northern Ireland and will provide a general legislative framework for the BID scheme, with the detail of the scheme intended to be introduced by secondary legislation.

In broad terms, the Bill will:

  • Allow a district council to define a BID within its council area or in cooperation with a neighbouring council;
  • Require a district council to set up a ring-fenced BID Revenue Account to hold funds raised by the local levy;
  • Require that BID proposals be formally compiled and put to a vote via an official ballot;
  • Specify those entitled to vote in the ballot (non-domestic rate payers within the proposed BID area);
  • Specify the conditions for approval of a ballot. The interests of large and small businesses are to be protected by a voting system which requires a simple majority in both votes cast and rateable value in order to be successful;
  • Allow a district council to veto BID proposals in certain exceptional circumstances. In the event of a council exercising this veto, the BID proposers would be able to appeal to the Department for Social Development;
  • Specify the maximum timeframe (five years) for BID arrangements to operate before needing to be resubmitted to a ballot.

Any organisation or individual with an interest in this consultation is invited to submit evidence to the Committee by e-mail to committee.socialdevelopment@niassembly.gov.uk or by post to:

Committee Clerk, Room 412, Parliament Buildings, Ballymiscaw, Stormont, Belfast BT4 3XX.

The evidence must be structured to address the specific clauses of the Bill.

If you do not have access to the internet or e-mail facilities or you have any other enquiries, please contact the Committee Clerk on 028 9052 1864.

Please note: The closing date for expired on 21 September 2012.

View the written submissions received by the Committee in relation to the Bill.

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