Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
What is the English Riviera BID?
BID stands for Business Improvement District (BID). It does not replace the statutory activities or services carried out by Torbay Council, police or other public agencies. It is an arrangement under which local businesses work together to improve their own trading environment and agree via a BID operating company (English Riviera BID Company) how the levy should be spent on a range of projects, including national advertising to increase year round footfall and occupancy.
Who runs the English Riviera BID?
The English Riviera BID will be operated by the new English Riviera BID Company, a wholly independent, private sector led, not-for-profit company limited by guarantee. The company will be based at 5 Vaughan Parade, Torquay TQ2 5JG. The BID Steering Group will initially become board members in order to establish the new company, standing down in the first 12 months, when a new board of suitably skilled directors will be elected for the remaining four year period. The board will be supported by a small executive team.
How long does the BID last?
The English Riviera BID will operate for five years from 1st January 2017.
Are all tourism businesses paying the English Riviera BID levy?
All property shown in the most current rating list for Torbay which has a tourism related rating classification, and with a rateable value of £3000 or more will receive an annual English Riviera BID invoice. The English Riviera BID levy is set at a rate of 1.95% with a minimum levy payment for any herediment of £150 per annum.
Why is Torbay Council collecting the BID Levy?
BID legislation requires local authorities to be responsible for invoicing. In addition, the council already has the systems and procedures in place to collect income such as the BID levy.
What happens to the BID levy when it is collected by Torbay Council?
All money collected by Torbay Council is paid directly to the BID operating company (English Riviera BID Company) to deliver Destination Marketing projects and initiatives as outlined in the English Riviera BID Business Plan, including National Advertising.
What happens if I don’t agree with the BID Levy?
Following six months of industry wide consultation, an independent ballot was carried out on 1st July 2016 and eligible businesses within the rating categories as listed in the Business Plan were given the opportunity to vote for or against the English Riviera Tourism BID. The result of the ballot was a majority ‘yes’ vote; therefore all businesses are liable to pay the levy as required by law.
What happens if I refuse to pay?
It is hoped that all businesses will see the benefits of contributing to the BID. In the event of a non-payment, on behalf of the BID operating company (English Riviera BID Company Ltd), the council will recover any sums due in line with normal recovery processes. This means that defaulters will receive a reminder notice and if payment is not received then a summons will be issued. If any business that feels it has a legitimate appeal over its inclusion within the scope of the new English Riviera BID they should contact the English Riviera BID Company at: The English Riviera BID Company, 5 Vaughan Parade, Torquay, TQ2 5JG.
What happens if my rateable value changes?
- If a new property is entered into the rating list by the Valuation Office Agency mid-year no charge will apply until the following year’s levy becomes due.
- If a property undergoes a split or merger in the rating list after the start of the BID levy year, the levy will not be amended to reflect the change until the following year.
- If a property’s rateable value is increased or decreased mid-year the levy will not be amended to reflect the change until the following year.
Why is the BID levy not collected with rates?
Business Rates and the BID levy are completely separate. The council must collect business rates in line with statutory provisions which are different from the legal provisions surrounding a BID levy.
I have Small Business Rates Relief; will I have to pay the levy?
Yes, a BID has no formal link to your Business Rates payment and is a totally separate legal entity based on your rateable value.
What do I pay my Business Rates for?
Business rates, along with Council tax, help to fund the statutory services that Torbay Council is required to provide. These include roads and transport, infrastructure, the police, domestic refuse collection, and the fire brigade. Business Rates are the way the users of non-domestic property contribute towards providing these essential services. The BID levy is a separate payment to fund agreed benefits. In the case of the English Riviera BID the agreed business benefits are the provision of ongoing professionally coordinated Destination Marketing activity as detailed in the Business Plan, on which you were asked to vote.
Can I pay by instalments?
You will receive an annual bill for your BID account payable in one instalment. This will be due in January each year, for the five year period that the English Riviera BID will operate.
Will I pay the same amount every year?
The levy is based on the rateable value of the property at 1 April each year. The levy will change from the following BID year, only if the rateable value of the property changes.
What happens if my rateable value reduces because of an appeal I have made?
Reductions on rateable value will be taken into full consideration when calculating the levy for current and future years. However, reductions or increases in rateable value will only apply from the following BID financial year, after the amendment.
What happens if I move my business out of the BID area or stop trading?
If you vacate your property, or stop trading after 1 January each year, then as stated in the Business Plan you will be required to pay the BID levy in full for the year.
What happens if my property is empty/vacant?
The English Riviera BID Company will expect levy contributions for all relevant businesses or premises that appear in the Non Domestic Rating list to pay the applicable BID levy.