Find out a bit more about Heart of London and the ballot process below, or contact us with your question directly at stjames@holba.london.

What is a BID?

Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) are not-for-profit partnerships within a defined area, in which local businesses have voted to invest together to improve their environment. A BID is introduced through a democratic ballot process and the services augment those provided by Westminster City Council. A successful BID must have buy-in from the majority of those who will finance it – both for a successful vote and also to ensure that the partnership evolves in a positive environment.

Who is Heart of London Business Alliance?

Since 2004, Heart of London Business Alliance has served as an independent voice for over 500 businesses and 100 property owners across the Piccadilly, St James’s, Haymarket, Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square and St Martin’s areas. Our purpose is to support the commercial well-being of the businesses and organisations we represent, and ensure our areas remain integral to London’s West End offer as a place for people to visit, live, trade and work.

We are a business-led organisation, with a two-decade track record of delivering tangible results by transforming the area for the better, putting it on a global stage, and making our businesses more economically resilient and secure.

We’re here to make a difference. We’re here to shape a world-class West End.

What does a BID do?

A BID seeks to provide greater strategic context for business, galvanise the business community, statutory authorities and wider stakeholders behind a common vision for the district, and generate an enhanced income stream that benefits the whole area in terms of service provision.

What are the benefits to me and my business?

  • A strategic approach with clear leadership
  • Return on investment
  • A more effectively managed and sustainable district
  • A destination of choice for visitors and businesses alike
  • Effective engagement with the wider community

Is a BID part of the Council?

BIDs are not-for-profit, business-led organisations that work independently from the Council. The services provided are in addition to the existing Council services and we work closely with Westminster City Council to deliver the best solutions for the businesses and the area.

Do residents have to pay the levy for the BID?

The BID levy does not apply to any residential properties, only businesses. If you are a resident in the area and want to inquire about our services, please email stjames@holba.london.

How does the BID ballot work?

Governed by Government legislation and regulations, BIDs are statutorily established once voted for by the majority of businesses in an area and have a maximum term of five years before returning to their electorate for renewal. Once a majority vote had been achieved, a BID levy becomes mandatory on all defined ratepayers. The ballot needs to satisfy two tests – a majority in number of those voting and a majority in proportion of rateable value of those voting.  The BID levy can only come into effect if these two tests are met. The BID levy is then applicable to all eligible businesses. To ensure neutrality, the BID ballot is administered by the Council Returning Officer and their electoral services staff. It will be arranged in line with the rules set out in the BID regulations (2004) as approved by Parliament. All eligible businesses in the proposed BID area will be entitled to one vote per hereditament. Some businesses occupying more than one hereditament within the area may therefore be entitled to more than one vote.

How can I get involved?

  • BIDs are driven by individual businesses and their collective voice.  Heart of London Business Alliance seeks the participation of the business community to help shape the future wellbeing of the area it represents, businesses are invited to take part in the engagement programme and make their view known.
  • Heart of London would welcome your involvement and can be contacted at info@holba.london