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Following an independent review by the Institute of Place Management, Winchester Business Improvement District (BID) is one of the first BIDs in the UK to be awarded a new Industry Standards kite mark from The BID Foundation which recognises transparency and responsible governance.

The new Industry Standards have been developed by the industry body for Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) The BID Foundation and now BIDs across the UK have begun adoption of the Standards, which award a kite mark to display to levy payers and other stakeholders.

The set of Industry Standards was developed in consultation with BIDs, levy payer groups and policy makers, including the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and the Welsh Government. Helping to inform levy payers and other stakeholders, the Standards cover key aspects of a BID’s structure and operations including its business plan, governance and reporting, Directors and personal interests, and detail on ballot results. Introducing industry standards for BIDs was a recommendation of recent research into the BID sector and its development in the UK, published last year by the Institute of Place Management.

Led by its Council, 22 practitioners that govern the organisation, The BID Foundation has developed the Industry Standards for all BIDs, highlighting information and documentation that should be made publicly accessible and easily identifiable by every BID.

Bill Addy, Chair of The BID Foundation Council and Chief Executive of the Liverpool BID Company, said: “This is a crucial piece of work to support BIDs. The Industry Standards further demonstrate the professionalism of BIDs that adopt them, and of the wider sector, which has stepped forward in 2020 to provide support to thousands of local businesses. The BID Foundation commissioned the ‘State-of-the-Art’ report in 2019 which identified the need for standards, and to continue to drive high performance. On behalf of The BID Foundation and its Members, we welcome their introduction.”

Among the Industry Standards are the publishing of contact details of the BID Chief Executive or BID Manager, an explanation of feedback mechanisms for levy payers, and both a procurement policy and all minutes of financial decisions. The Industry Standards are awarded following an independent review process conducted by the Institute of Place Management, the professional body for place managers and leaders, based at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Paul Spencer, Executive Director of Winchester BID said: “All BIDs operate for the benefit of the levy payers they serve and the new Industry Standards will help provide further reassurance that BIDs are transparent, open and professionally operated. We are very pleased that Winchester BID has been recognised as fully compliant and is one of the first BIDs in the UK to be awarded the new kite mark.”

Since their introduction in 2004 in the UK, BIDs have assumed an important role in developing and overseeing the management of high streets, town centres and commercial areas. The Industry Standards recognise this role and support the continued professionalisation and evolution of BIDs.

To find out more about the new Industry Standards launched by The BID Foundation, click here:

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