FAQs


Sheffield BID is a Business Improvement District scheme and governed by national legislation. In February and March 2015 all eligible businesses in Sheffield City Centre received a copy of the BID prospectus and were asked to vote on the creation of a BID through a postal ballot. Businesses voted by a majority ‘Yes’ to indicate they were in favour of having a city centre BID. The current term of Sheffield BID runs until 31 March 2021. A renewal ballot will be held in early 2021.

Sheffield City Centre BID Limited is the not for profit organisation that is the accountable body for delivery of the Sheffield BID.
No. A BID is a scheme developed in accordance with the Business Improvement District (England) Regulations 2004 within which businesses and other stakeholders contribute a levy determined by a prescribed formula. This creates a fund to develop responses to impediments to growth, or to improve the trading environment in which they operate.

There are currently more than 300 BIDs now operating in towns and cities across the UK.
The BID can be proposed by any non-domestic ratepayer, property owner, local authority or other stakeholder with an interest in the BID area.
A BID is created by a ballot of those businesses who would be liable to pay the mandatory levy. The ballot is run by the local authority (the Ballot Holder). There is no minimum turnout threshold but the BID proposal must clear two hurdles. 
  •  A simple majority of those voting must be in favour.
  • The aggregate of the rateable value of premises of those voting in favour must exceed the aggregate of the rateable value of premises voting against.
The BID must carry out specified projects for the benefit of the BID area, or those who live, work and carry on any activity within it. However, its primary focus is businesses in its area, specifically those who contribute by paying the levy.
The Sheffield BID area, also referred to as the BID boundary, is based on the former inner city ring road as shown on the BID area map. A list of all streets included in the city centre BID area can be found within the BID prospectus.

The Local Government Act 2003 gave local authorities in England & Wales the power to approve the formation of a BID (if local businesses agree) and to collect the BID levy that will fund improvements.
The BID levy is a charge payable in respect of rateable business hereditaments within the defined boundary of the BID. It is calculated by applying a modest percentage to the rateable value of a property. Levies fluctuate across the BID industry from one to four percent. In Sheffield, the BID levy is held at one percent.
The person or organisation liable to pay the business rates for the property is liable to pay the BID levy if the property has a rateable value of £40,000 or more. Where a property is occupied this will be the occupier. For empty hereditaments this will normally be the leaseholder or the property owner.
In the current term to 31 March 2021 it is calculated annually using the 2010 rateable value of the property and no account is taken of future rating revaluations unless a property appears for the first time in a future rating list.

An annual bill is issued every August for the period August to July. In August 2020 the BID levy bill will be prorated to 31 March 2021.
Under BID regulations, Sheffield City Council is the billing authority responsible for collection of the Sheffield BID levy. The levy income is collected each year in a single instalment, kept in a separate ring-fenced account and transferred to Sheffield BID on the basis outlined in an operating agreement. Sheffield City Council charges a collection fee for this service. Sheffield BID is also charged summons and liabilities costs that are incurred when chasing non-payers. Provision for these costs is made in the annual budget. Collection of the BID levy carries the same enforcement weight as the collection of business rates.
Once balloted the term of the BID runs for a maximum of five years. The BID must seek a renewal ballot to carry on its activities into a further term. Sheffield BID's first term was due to end on 31 July 2020.

The Coronavirus Act 2020 was passed which extends the arrangements until 31 March 2021 for any BID due to expire in the period 16 March 2020 – 31 December 2020, which includes the Sheffield BID.

Sheffield BID's first term has therefore been extended to 31 March 2021 and a rescheduled renewal ballot will be held in early 2021.
In accordance with the Business Improvement Districts (England) Regulations 2004, the Council is by law the billing authority for any BID in Sheffield, which means it is responsible for the collection of BID levies. It is not responsible for providing the BID services because there is an independent accountable delivery body - Sheffield City Centre BID Limited ("Sheffield BID").

BIDs can set a minimum threshold to ensure the number of hereditaments to be included is manageable, and that hereditaments do not include non-trading entities (e.g. cashpoints, radio masts, telephone boxes etc.). Sheffield BID is mindful of the hereditaments that are excluded, particularly where small businesses in key streets make up the fabric of a community, but voluntary levies paid directly to Sheffield BID through associate membership is an option for businesses below the threshold.
The nett collectable debt differs year on year but on average, £800,000 per year is collected through the Sheffield BID levy.
Yes. Your BID levy is calculated using rateable value and liability terms set out by the BID. The only other link between rates and the bid levy is that the levy is collected by the local authority. At this point, the relationship ends. Once collected, the levy revenue comes directly to us at the BID, to spend on local priorities which are identified by levy payers as important (and therefore detailed in our business plan). Business rates, on the other hand, are not all retained by the local authority - usually 50% of the revenue goes to central government.

Sheffield BID, in line with hundreds of other BIDs around the UK, was established to raise sustainable revenue and to use this to fund targeted improvements in the trading environment that are often not supported by local authority or national government funding.
Yes. BID legislation allows BIDs to set a maximum amount that any levy payer will pay. On a single property the maximum payment for the Sheffield BID is £15,000 and for those businesses operating multiple hereditaments using the same trading name and whose annual combined BID levy liability exceeds £60,000 will have its total contribution capped at this sum.
Yes. Sheffield City Council and the public bodies must pay the levy on hereditaments within the BID area for which they are liable to pay business rates.
No. The BID is legally binding on all eligible business ratepayers in the BID area.
Businesses occupying hereditaments with a rateable value of £40,000 or more pay the BID levy. Hereditaments classified for business rate purposes as schools or hotels are exempt from the BID levy. Please see the 2015-2020 BID Prospectus for details of the governing BID rules for the current term.
Hotels are part of the tourism visitor economy and the challenge of delivering high-quality tourist-related services at a local level, and the marketing and promotion of destinations required to retain visitors from within the UK and attract tourists from overseas requires a different funding model. 
The funds collected through the levy can only be used to pay for BID services and the Council’s costs in collecting the levy. Through an operating agreement, the Council holds the funds received in the BID revenue account and make payments to the BID Company to pay for the BID services that are provided by the Company. Annually with your bill you will receive details of how the levy is being spent.
No. By law the services provided by a BID must be additional services not already provided by the Council, or enhancements to existing services.
The BID levy is a charge payable by law and not a payment for services received. If you have an enquiry about how you can benefit directly from BID services, please get in touch with the BID office.
Yes. The result of the BID ballot held in March 2015 was binding on all eligible business ratepayers in the BID area from 1 August 2015 to 31 July 2020. This includes persons or organisations who become ratepayers after the date of the ballot.

Please note that the Coronavirus Act 2020 passed in March 2020 extends the arrangements until 31 March 2021 for any BID due to expire in the period 16 March 2020 – 31 December 2020, which includes the Sheffield BID. As a result the term of the BID is extended to 31 March 2021. A renewal ballot for a second five-year term will take place in early 2021.




Some BIDs do make provision within the BID rules for an annual inflationary increase. However, the Sheffield city centre BID levy is held at 1% for the duration of the five-year term.
Yes. The ratepayer for an unoccupied property is also liable to pay a BID levy.
No. The BID levy is payable in one payment due on 1 August each year or 14 days after the issue of the levy demand notice whichever is the latter.
If you have genuine financial difficulty and are unable to pay, then you should contact the Council at bidcollection@sheffield.gov.uk as soon as possible.
Whoever is listed as the ratepayer at the time the annual bills are issued remains responsible for the BID levy for the whole year. No refunds will be issued. However, if you move into a property part way through the BID’s financial year, you will not have to pay until the next bills are issued.
This is the accountable body for delivery of the city centre BID. The Company is a not-for-profit private company limited by guarantee with a board of non-executive directors drawn from businesses who pay the BID levy. This Company was appointed as the BID body through the first ballot process in March 2015. It will also be the proposer for renewal of the BID which will see businesses re-balloted for a second five-year term in early 2021.
Once you receive a bill, if your enquiry is about payment or the amount you are charged, then you should contact the Council (bidcollection@sheffield.gov.uk). However, if your enquiry is about BID services or anything other than payment you should contact Sheffield BID. Email: enquiries@sheffieldbid.com or telephone: 0114 339 2015.

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Sheffield BID renewal ballot under section 54(2) of the Local Government Act 2003 due to be held on 30th April 2020 was suspended until further notice.
The Coronavirus Act 2020 contains emergency powers which apply to any BID that was due to end between 25th March 2020 and 31st December 2020 and automatically extends the term of that BID until 31st March 2021.

The Sheffield BID arrangement had been due to end on 31st July 2020 but in accordance with The Act, the BID term is now extended and the levy for the period 1st August 2020 to 31st March 2021 is charged in accordance with the prevailing rate that was in place for the 2019/20 Year 5 billing cycle.
Like many businesses we have taken steps to reduce operating costs and reorganise our operations to ensure that core services can continue to be delivered.

Sheffield BID's response

Crisis – initial response
  • Sheffield BID has remained open throughout, providing daily operational support to those essential businesses still trading.
  • Many businesses were worried about the physical security of their firms, as well as their financial security. We have introduced a new roaming BID security team to monitor premises and buildings 7-days week between midnight and 6am, acting as a strong deterrent to criminality.
  • Our Street Rangers have continued to sanitise areas affected by rough sleeper and other detritus to help manage contagion. The team has worked at full capacity during the lockdown providing reassurance to those essential businesses who remained open.
  • Partnership working with South Yorkshire Police focused on strengthening the security of the city centre from commercial break ins and other potential vulnerabilities.
  • A local business guide and directory was used to promote essential businesses as well as local goods and services that could be delivered online or in line with government health advice.
Pre-recovery – building capacity and supporting business adaptation
  • Partnership working with Sheffield City Council focused on reopening areas of the public realm sustainably and safely, supporting businesses as they returned to trade.
  • Our consumer channels promote all local businesses which have reopened, helping to reconnect communities with the city centre.
  • A joint marketing campaign with stakeholders was launched to encourage people to shop locally, highlighting the creativity, generosity and bravery of local businesses during this difficult time.
Transformation – leading improvement
  • We hope to continue to support the resilience, innovation and duty of care of our levy payers, in the toughest of circumstances.
We recognise that all businesses are under financial stress due to COVID-19, which is why Government has announced such unprecedented measures.

Economic recovery will only work if we all work together on this and that’s what Sheffield BID is doing right now.

BID levy bills for the new financial year are due 24 July for payment by 19 August.

Sheffield City Council is required by the statutory BID Regulations to issue invoices for the new chargeable period which will run from 1 August 2020 to 31 March 2021 (this will be 8/12 of the usual billing year figure). The Council does not have any statutory discretion to delay or amend notices, or to serve only a limited class of businesses because of the pandemic.

Due to the immediate and stark effect that the COVID-19 outbreak is having on many businesses, Sheffield City Council will consider time to pay arrangements with businesses in financial distress on a case by case basis. Please contact BIDCollection@sheffield.gov.uk