The debate around BIDs has taken on increasing importance with a variety of announcements over the past months. Over the past years we have played a leading role in advocating BIDs and encountered scepticism and occasionally opposition. This, we believe, is based on a lack of knowledge and a misunderstanding about what BIDs are and can offer. This is a significant factor in why Wales has been much slower to embrace the concept than England and Scotland.
With BIDs becoming an increasingly important policy area for the Welsh Government they commissioned The means in December 2012 to undertake a Review of Business Improvement Districts in Wales. This timely review adds to the evidence base required to make informed decisions about approaches that can be taken to support BID development across Wales. The research focuses on the Swansea BID, but also considera the process of establishing a BID in Merthyr Tydfil. The purpose is to inform the development of a BID model, adapted and suited to the Welsh context.
Notwithstanding the essential need to undertake a robust analysis, the success of the study will be as much on how well the content is understood and how effective it is in informing policy development regarding regeneration in Wales. Consolidating the evidence from Swansea will play a key role in shaping opinion. Setting the findings in the much broader body of evidence will assist in the illustration of the potential for BIDs and in identifying where and how BIDs can add value alongside other interventions.
Our report has been published and is available on the Welsh Government website