Ilkley Business Improvement District Press Release

The road towards an Ilkley Business Improvement District (BID) has now become much clearer.

After considerable time investigating and talking to local companies the BID Team are now ready to move to the next stage and are urging more business owners to contact them and get involved with the BIDs development.

Ilkley BID will deliver much more for the towns businesses, better marketing of the town, effective representation, seeking new opportunities and an environment to make the town proud. It will spark new life into the town’s economy.

An Interim Board for the BID has been appointed and it will shape the plan. The Board includes representatives from Marks & Spencer, Booths, Lishmans, Love Brownies, The Ticket Office & The Yard, Moin Moin Backerei, Dan’s Den, Ilkley Town Council, Ilkley Grammar School, Stowe Family Law, Accentia Corporate, Bradford Council and the Ilkley Business Forum.

Whilst the BID Team have been given substantial funding to develop the final plan and to continue consultation with local companies they are still seeking more business engagement.

The BID Team are delighted to have been awarded a grant of over £20,000 from Bradford Council in addition to the £5000 loan already provided by Ilkley Town Council. This money will be used to fund the consultation, design and construction of the plan.

The funding will help the BID Interim Board prepare a detailed proposal that will be put to the business community in Spring 2019.

Eligible businesses will have the opportunity to vote on the BID 5 year plan. If the vote is successful, Ilkley will join more than 300 other towns across the UK who are already benefiting from having a BID. Locally, Otley, Skipton, Keighley and Leeds already have active BID’s and Bradford City Centre businesses will be voting on their proposal in October.

BIDs are funded by businesses paying a small additional levy which is based on their rateable value. The BID board will decide how the money is spent although the collection of the levy will be managed by Bradford Council. The BID board will be local leaders who know the challenges and opportunities of being in business in the town.

It is anticipated the BID would be able to invest about £500,000 back into the town to promote and support local business.

Information events which will offer businesses opportunities for feedback on the BID plan are scheduled for September and all businesses are encouraged to attend.

Stuart Hyde QPM, Chair of the BID Interim Board, said: “Ilkley is a great place to live and work. Through the BID we can improve the representation and opportunities for local businesses of all shapes and sizes. Keeping Ilkley alive and kicking as a place of choice for all businesses is a challenge the BID will meet. We are grateful for the help and support of our Town Council and Bradford Council who both see the positive impact a BID could bring to Ilkley.”

Coun Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, said: “We are delighted to support Ilkley BID with their development costs. Our Economic Strategy highlights the importance of good growth across our district, including in Ilkley, and with our District Growth Scheme in place and now our support for the development of Ilkley BID we’re really delivering on our strategy. With Keighley BID already up and running and a Bradford BID also in development our district could have three BIDs, which would show how strong and proactive our business community is.”

For more information visit: or contact Helen Rhodes, the BID Development Administrator, by email – with any queries or to register your interest.


The survey of businesses has now been concluded. It has been independently analysed and we have started to bring the thinking and responses into a Draft BID Plan

As a consequence we have arranged two open meetings over the next month to seek feedback from local businesses, after which we will publish the next draft on the IBF Website

We are looking to create a BID proposal that adds value to the Town and helps businesses to grow and to have a voice in the way the Town is run. It will adopt a strategy to improve opportunities for local businesses as well as ensuring that all possible is done to make the business environment more attractive. This includes the physical and digital landscapes

The Draft Plan will outline how the BID will deliver better services and facilities and support the marketing of Ilkley as a Town of choice in which to trade.

You are invited to book on to either of the following sessions:

Ilkley Business Forum: Wednesday 11 Oct 2017 5:30pm prior to the main IBF meeting at the Clark Foley Centre
Please book using the following link:

Booths Supermarket open meeting: Thursday 19 Oct 2017 6pm – 7:30pm
Please book using the following link:

We look forward to seeing you there.

If you cannot attend and have any questions please forward them to

As part of the preparatory work for a BID vote we have followed many other Towns and initiated a survey of businesses. With the help of a number of experienced BID members across the country and using surveys that have proved effective, we have designed a Business Survey for Ilkley

This survey was initiated last week and we are starting to reach out to businesses to complete it

The survey can be found at

If you are an Ilkley Business Rate payer please feel free to complete this survey online and let us know you have done it. You will be visited in the next 3 weeks for your contribution

We have a number of BID helpers who will be calling on businesses in Ilkley asking for the survey to be completed. So please expect a visit in the next 2 weeks

Our ambition is to conclude the survey by mid-July and then the University Of Leeds will help us with analysis

In order to achieve this we have secured a grant of £5000 from Ilkley Parish Council. If the BID is successful we hope to be able to return this grant.

At all IBF meetings there will be an update by me about the BID progress. The next IBF meeting is on 12th July at the Box Tree

Please however feel free to raise any questions.
Stuart Hyde QPM
Chair Ilkley BID Committee


How much will it cost you?

A small levy (1 to 2 %) will be charged to each business within the proposed Business Improvement District.

For example: If your rateable value is £18,000 you will pay just £180 per year or £3.46 per week at 1%.

Who decides?

YOU! If you have a a business which pays business rates within the proposed BID area you will be invited to vote on whether or not to establish a Business Improvement District in Ilkley. We are hoping that the ballot will be held in the late Autumn of 2017 and, for the proposal to be approved two tests have to be met:

• More than 50% of those voting must vote YES
• Those YES votes have to represent more than 50%of the total rateable value of all votes cast.

What is a Business Improvement District?

A BID is a business-led initiative where local businesses are invited to come together, in partnership, to make decisions and take action to improve their trading environment. Through consultation, a range of projects and services are agreed and these are then voted upon by all the businesses in the proposed area. It is important to note that this in no way affects services already in place and funded by local government. Any funds raised by the BID are dedicated for use solely in Ilkley and are in addition to those services already in place.

Why does ILKLEY need a BID?

It is an investment scheme where local businesses can collectively agree on the priorities for Ilkley and how to invest their money to benefit themselves, their staff, their customers and their town.

Ilkley has a lot to be proud of: Its history, Its character, Its people & Its location Ilkley has a number of undoubted assets as a community and as a place to live and work. We want to assure Ilkley’s future success as an economically vibrant location. The BID offers a choice between:

a) The current reactive and piecemeal approach to business development. This relies on ad hoc action by only a few firms. Any planned investment in the town is entirely dependent on the availability of scarce public funds.
b) A proactive and cohesive approach involving the whole business community. Collaboration brings withit the benefits of shared experience and common objectives. This pooling of resources brings the required economies of scale to have much more impact at a lower per capita cost.

What will it do?

That is for YOU, the businesses within the proposed BID area, to decide. We will be asking as many businesses as possible for their input. Do you want more festivals, cleaner streets, business training, improved lighting, safety or marketing of Ilkley? Give us your thoughts and the BID plan will reflect your ideas.

How will it work?

Once a YES vote is secured the management and operation of the Ilkey BID will be undertaken by a company limited by guarantee – Ilkley BID Ltd. All businesses in the BID area will be eligible to join Ilkley BID Ltd and appoint its directors. The Ilkley BID board will completely control the funding and activities in the BID area.

The income required to deliver a 5 year programme of investments within Ilkley’s BID area will be almost entirely drawn from the BID Levy, collected on behalf of Ilkley BID by Bradford metropolitan District Council. This is then paid in full to Ilkley BID Ltd.

Will Ilkley BID benefit all businesses?

It is obvious that a BID would benefit retailers within the proposed area, however, it must be recognised that improving trading conditions will benefit all businesses. Those in the service and manufacturing sectors rely on a thriving economy and a prosperous hinterland. By encouraging favourable conditions in the town as a whole, the overall prosperity of the community will be enhanced. Promoting Ilkley as a business environment will be part of the ambition for the BID.