East Lothian Food & Drink BID

We are delighted to announce that the East Lothian Food & Drink Business Improvement District has returned a positive vote at ballot!

We achieved a turnout (of rateable value) of 62% and of the votes that were cast, 90% voted in favour of the BID - a fantastic achievement!

The official declaration of the results and the full press release are available to download:

Official Declaration
Press Release 17th June 2016

What is a BID?

A Business Improvement District (BID) is led by business for business and delivers a sustainable financial model to fund marketing and promotion, local improvements, services and management.

Here is a short film from our business consultation with some local businesses explaining the BID.

A BID, which is funded by the non-domestic sector, allows the private sector to work in partnership with public and third sectors, the community, statutory authorities and organisations such as Scotland Food & Drink within a flexible mechanism to deliver a wide variety of projects and services to improve trade and the local economy. It also gives local businesses a unified voice and provides an arena for businesses and local authorities to increase their understanding of each otherís priorities.

A BID can cover almost any project or service that local businesses agree would be of benefit as long as these are additional to services provided by the statutory authorities.

Food and Drink BIDs can tackle issues such as:


  • umbrella branding
  • food and drink trails
  • sales development
  • website and social media
  • marketing, promotion, PR
  • exhibitions
  • warehousing, distribution and routes to market
  • accessing project funding
  • waste and recycling
  • environmental improvements
  • improved asset management
  • group procurement
  • and give a strong and unified voice for business


How is a BID established?

Normally, a working group develops the initial BID project and consults with other groups and the local authority(s) to gauge support. It also ascertains whether financial, in kind and/or secondment support will be provided by the local authority(s).

After this a wider, more representative steering group is established, made up of predominantly private sector individuals and some public sector representatives.

After consultation with sector businesses, a steering group will identify the BID membership criteria, the issues to be addressed and projects to be included in the business plan. The business plan will also set out the BIDs delivery mechanisms and performance indicators, as well as the BID governance and management structures.

A BID is not a substitute for central or local government services, Scotland Food & Drink, Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society but is a way additional funding can be raised. The businesses then decide how the additional funds are spent to strengthen their trading and market sector.

A BID is developed, managed and paid for by the non domestic sector by means of a compulsory BID levy which the businesses within the proposed BID area or sector must vote in favour of before the BID can be established.

Each business liable to contribute to the BID will be able to vote on whether or not the BID goes ahead. New businesses, established during the BID term, which meet the agreed BID criteria, would be required to join the BID.

Levy contributions could be made by a combination of occupiers and property owners, or by occupiers alone. How the levy is calculated is defined by the local BID Steering Group after consultation on the projects and services to be delivered. The levy can be a fixed fee based on the property valuation, a fixed fee, or based on turnover, number of employees or a combination of factors that are agreed as fair and reasonable. The BID levy is collected by the local authority(s).

The interests of both large and small businesses are protected through a voting system that requires a majority in the numerical votes cast and the rateable value of votes cast. A BID Proposal in Scotland will only go ahead if more than half the eligible voters vote in favour and they represent more than half of the rateable value, of those businesses that vote.

A BID has no set minimum duration but is limited by a maximum duration of five years after which the BID is required to seek a new mandate from the businesses in the BID area or sector.