Watford Business
Improvement District (BID) Ltd

About Watford BID

It’s certainly an exciting time to live, work and do business in Watford. The town is changing and the level of investment being made in Watford's town centre and infrastructure is unprecedented. An important part of that investment is being made via the businesses in the town centre through the Business Improvement District.

What is a BID?

A BID is a business led initiative supported by government legislation which gives local businesses the power to raise and spend funds locally with the aim of improving their own business environment. It is an investment scheme where local businesses agree how their money should be invested to benefit themselves, their employees, customers, clients and their town. The money is raised via a levy which businesses in the BID area pay. This money is then reinvested back into the town on projects which have been identified as being important to the town.

A BID operates for five years, at the end of this five years businesses must vote again as to whether they want the BID to continue to work in the town. There are already over 200 BIDs successfully operating across the country in places such as Nottingham, Swansea, Reading, Bedford, Southend on Sea, Ipswich, Rugby and Norwich. Locally, in Hertfordshire, Hitchin is in the second term of their BID, while Letchworth is in its second year of a BID. BIDs succeed because they are focused, cost efficient and entrepreneurial. They do not replace local authority and police services, but provide additional, supplementary resources and activities. Watford's levy is 1.25% (based on the rateable value) which is mandatory for all eligible businesses.

Following a successful YES vote in October 2015 Watford BID Ltd was created on 1 April 2016 and runs for 5 years until 31 March 2021. It will generate close to £3 million of additional investment over the 5 years.

Watford BID is a company limited by guarantee and is a not for profit organisation.

Our Vision

In Watford our vision for the town is to be:

Watford BID focuses on projects and activities based on three key themes:

You can find more information on Watford BID in our business plan here.