Business Improvement Districts: Coronavirus

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 16th November 2020.

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Photo of Greg Knight Greg Knight Conservative, East Yorkshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will take steps to require local authorities to cancel levies in relation to Business Improvement Districts for 2020 and until after the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Kelly Tolhurst Kelly Tolhurst Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

Business Improvement Districts (BIDs)?are a proven and effective vehicle for?leveraging private investment and have a significant role to play in high street regeneration. Their role will be even more important in the recovery phase from the current crisis.

BID organisations are advised to work closely with their members, sector bodies and local authorities in coming to sensible arrangements on charging given the current circumstances. BIDs or local authorities may want to take legal advice on how they can manage their BID levy using their existing powers.

In March, the Government included provisions within the Coronavirus Act 2020 that enables?BIDs to delay any renewal ballots due to take place before 31 December 2020 until 31 March 2021. This allows businesses to focus on recovery from the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic before deciding whether to participate in future BID arrangements.

In addition to this legislation, the Government made available up to £6.1 million of support to BIDs. The funding has been delivered to 260 BIDs in England via local authorities, including £53,270.30 paid to Scarborough Borough Council on behalf of the Yorkshire Coast BID, part of which covers the East Yorkshire constituency.

We?will continue to?work closely with the sector to look at how further we can support BIDs, and the businesses that contribute to them, during this time.

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