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Downtown Gibraltar is the first Business Improvement District (BID) in Gibraltar. Towards the end of last year, an independent and confidential postal ballot was held and businesses in the BID area voted in favour of the 5 year BID business plan.

The Downtown Gibraltar Team will now be working towards the delivery of projects highlighted in the plan to create a prosperous, well-resourced town centre, with the business community at the heart of it.

THERE IS A MORATORIUM ON THE ENFORCEMENT OF BID LEVY COLLECTION UNTIL 1ST DECEMBER 2022

Your BID levy is an annual bill, sent out by LPS on behalf of the Billing Authority.

To pay by bank transfer, please use the below details:

Bank: Gibraltar International Bank
Beneficiary’s Name: Land Property Services Limited
Beneficiary’s Account Number: 20010656
Bank Sort Code: 60-83-14

IBAN: GI37GIBK000000020010656
BIC: GIBKGIGI

IMPORTANT: PLEASE QUOTE YOUR BID ACCOUNT NUMBER AS A REFERENCE

To pay by cash or cheque, please follow the instructions outlined on your bill.

To learn more about how the BID levy is calculated, please see "How much will I pay?" below.

Each of the over 1,000 businesses within the BID area will contribute £0.50 per square foot of floor space per year (for 5 years) - there will be a minimum levy of £100/year and a maximum levy cap for the biggest 1% businesses of £5,000/year. 70% of businesses will pay less than £1 per day. In return for your BID levy contribution, a total of over £4m will be invested into the town centre area to support businesses from all streets and sectors.

Your annual BID levy (£) = square foot floorspace x £0.50

Not sure how big your business is? Email us on levy@downtown.gi with your LPS property reference number (it will look something like: "ABC001/001") and the BID team will check the LPS records for you.

For a BID to come into being, underpinning legislation must be in place. In Gibraltar's case, BID legislation includes:

For a BID to come into effect, a comprehensive legal process needs to be followed, as per the Business Improvement Districts Regulations 2021.

Under the regulations, the BID proposer (the BID task group at the time) provides a notice to the billing authority (HMGoG) requesting the billing authority to instruct the ballot holder to hold a BID ballot in relation to the BID business plan.

HMGoG appointed Peter Isola (a registered Notary Public) as the ballot holder (notice of appointment LN.2021/318), thereby commissioning him to carry out the BID ballot process in accordance with the Regulations. This process was fully independent and confidential.

The appointed ballot holder carried out the ballot process in line with the Regulations, using the official HMGoG database of non-domestic properties. Ballot papers were sent by post (by the Royal Gibraltar Post Office), as per the Regulations. The postal ballot was held from 1st September 2021 to 29th September 2021. Notice of ballot, instructions for issuing replacement ballots, ballot papers and return envelopes were sent via postal mail to each eligible non-domestic property’s address. Notice of ballot was also provided in direct marketing and was widely covered by local media, including instructions of how to request a ballot in the event that one wasn’t received.

The ballot holder certified on 1st October 2021 the results of the ballot, and declared that the proposal to establish the BID was approved, after a majority voted in favour of the proposal, both by floorspace and numbers voting.

The ballot holders declaring the BID business plan as approved gave the BID proposers (the BID task group) the green light to begin setting up the BID company (Downtown) and launching the 5-year project.

BIDs are an arrangement whereby businesses come together and decide which improvements they feel could be made in their place, be it town, city centre, tourism destination or business park, how they will implement these improvements and what it will cost them. BIDs are financed and controlled by the businesses within the selected area. BIDs deliver additional projects and services over and above those already provided by public bodies.

 

A BID is a mechanism which allows businesses to raise a sum of money collected to manage and deliver projects that they have identified and believe will improve their trading environment, ultimately increasing trade for those businesses who are paying for the improvement.

The great thing about BIDs is that it’s the businesses that decide and direct what they want for the area. The benefits of BIDs cited by businesses within them are numerous and wide-ranging. These include:

  • Stronger voice and significantly more influence
  • Businesses get the opportunity to shape their commercial area effectively, being able to control the space outside their business premises
  • Businesses are represented in issues affecting the area
  • BID levy money is ring-fenced for use only in the BID area – unlike business rates which are paid to, and redistributed, by the government
  • An enhanced visitor experience results in increased footfall and increased spending, for both consumer-facing and business-to-business businesses
  • A cleaner, greener, more welcoming town centre
  • Facilitated networking opportunities with neighbouring businesses
  • Assistance in dealing with HMGoG, Police and other public bodies
  • Significant improvements to the look, feel and value of the commercial area
  • Better promotion and marketing of our town centre leading to improved perceptions of both local residents and tourists
  • Targeted solutions for individual sectors and areas
  • Reduced business costs and improved return

The Downtown Gibraltar BID team will be working closely with partner organisations and other key stakeholders within the area and has the support of the GFSB, Gibraltar Chamber of Commerce and HM Government of Gibraltar.

Downtown Gibraltar BID's business plan was voted in by a majority by the number of businesses, as well as by floor space. This means the BID has come into effect and is legally binding, with all businesses within the BID area now liable to pay an annual fee (BID levy) for the 5-year term of the project.

The first BID levy invoice went out in October 2022.

The registered ratepayer of non-domestic properties that are not exempt (Please see the Business Plan for exemption conditions) will pay a small amount (known as the ‘BID Levy’) to manage and deliver projects set out in the Business Plan that they have identified and believe will improve their trading environment and performance, ultimately providing a return on their investment.

The Main Street & Surrounds BID (as it was originally named, but is now Downtown Gibraltar) was initially proposed in 2019 by the Gibraltar Federation of Small Businesses (GFSB), with the backing of the Chamber of Commerce and HMGoG. Shortly thereafter, The Mosaic Partnership, a UK-based consulting team of BID and place management specialists, was brought on board to develop and manage the Main Street & Surrounds BID project. 

The Mosaic Partnership has a 100% BID success rate, with every BID they’ve worked on successfully voted in by the businesses involved, and has worked on projects globally, including the UK, USA, Spain, South Africa, Singapore, Austria, Denmark, Netherlands and more. A BID Task Group was formed in October 2019 consisting of a range of businesses that cover the BID area geographically and sector-wise. The BID Team welcomes the involvement of more businesses, and should you wish to work with them, please do get in touch.

The BID business plan was finalised in June 2021, ahead of a month-long postal ballot where businesses voted on the below business plan. The business plan was voted in, and as such, the 5-year project to deliver this business plan has commenced. 

You can access and download a copy of the business plan here: Downtown Gibraltar BID Business Plan

After the successful ballot, a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee was registered and the task group was disbanded and superseded by a board of directors, made up of volunteers, tasked with steering the project.

All eligible businesses within the area will be liable to contribute an annual levy for the 5-year term of the project, however, in order to vote on BID matters and stand for positions on the BID board of directors, you must register your business (this is a legal requirement).

Registering as a member will also provide you with a business listing on our website, give you access to all projects we develop and maximise the benefits received throughout the project by your business.

If you are in the BID area we strongly encourage you to register your business today, participate in upcoming projects and get the most out of your BID levy.

Downtown Gibraltar has been incorporated as a company limited by guarantee (not-for-profit). The company will act as a place management organisation for the area and is professionally staffed.

The BID project is being run by the businesses, for the businesses, with all operations being overseen by a board of directors, made up of volunteer business owners and organisations from within the area. In addition to the board of directors, we will be forming task groups for the development of specific projects.

Get involved:

If you have a particular interest in any projects within the business plan, or a particular area within the BID area and are willing to give up some of your time and expertise to steer the development of these, please get in touch by email on hello@downtown.gi to volunteer on the board or task groups.

The BID area is from Referendum Gates on the South end of Main Street to Grand Casemates Gates on the North end. The other boundaries are Line Wall Road on one side to Town Range/ Governor’s Street, Cornwell’s Parade and Engineers Lane including all the streets, lanes and roads in between. If you fall on the borderline you would be included unless your official street address is different to the street the line is going through. For example, if you are physically on Line Wall Road but your official street address is Queensway, you would not be part of the BID and are exempt.

BID Area

Normally a ‘BID Task Group’ is set up which is responsible for putting together a detailed business plan setting out the projects it aims to deliver on behalf of the businesses in the BID area and is based on a detailed consultation process. The business plan will include the projects, cost, delivery guarantees, performance indicators and the management structure. An independent and confidential postal vote is held with all the businesses that would potentially pay the BID levy. To become a BID a majority of those that vote must be in favour by both number and size (business floor space). A successful BID then has a mandate for a maximum of 5 years after which the BID would need to seek a re-ballot to continue.

Like any good business plan, specific key performance indicators (KPIs) are set and monitored against the KPIs developed by the BID board. The BID Company is accountable to the businesses that pay the BID levy and will be required to inform and communicate with its members on progress.

Yes. BIDs have been around since the 1970s, and have continued to grow in popularity because of the big benefits businesses see. There are now over 2000 BIDs around the world, including over 300 in the UK. In the UK alone, BIDs raise over £150m in total, with individual BIDs raising anywhere from £100k to £30m. Currently, over 100,000 UK businesses pay a BID levy. Businesses continue to vote for BIDs time and time again because of the positive impact they’ve had, with 9 out of 10 re-ballots (voting on whether to continue the BID after its initial 5 year term) successful. In addition to this, governments are increasingly preferring to distribute their own business support measures through BIDs as they benefit from a formal legal structure and corporate governance.

No. BID money can only be used to carry out projects/services ADDITIONAL to those that public services have to provide. Prior to the BID business plan being produced, the current services being delivered by all public agencies including HM Government of Gibraltar (HMGoG) and Police are set out in Baseline Statements. Baseline Statements for the following areas are available for the Main Street & Surrounds BID:

  • Cleansing & Maintenance
  • Festivals & Events
  • Business Support
  • Tourism
  • Landscape & Planting
  • Transport & Car Parking
  • Waste Management
  • Licensing
  • Street Furniture & Lighting
  • Policing

This means that HMGoG continues to deliver that level of service. The BID Company can agree to provide additional resources to deliver a higher level of service over and above the benchmarked level if this is what businesses have identified they want.

No. The Downtown Gibraltar BID can only come into being if you the businesses vote yes on a legal and independent ballot. If the vote is a yes it will be run by a private not-for-profit company controlled and managed by you, the businesses that pay the levy. In short, the BID is run by the businesses, for the businesses.

The Company will have a Board of Directors made up of business owners from the BID area. Each year, board elections will take place, meaning that every business owner will have the opportunity to put themselves forward for a position on the Board. The Board will be tasked with running the BID company and undertaking the projects outlined in the BID Business Plan.

Although the BID is not being run by the Government, HMGoG has been incredibly supportive of the project and has made the generous commitment of pound for pound matching – doubling the money we have to invest in our place.

The BID will strongly back the improvement of customer service within the Downtown Gibraltar BID area. Although individual customer service is in the control of each business, the BID will encourage an increase in standards, and provide businesses within the area with training opportunities for both owners and their staff.

This applies to “customer-facing” businesses such as retail stores and restaurants, as well as to office-based businesses and all other businesses within the area.

A BID aims to create strategic development and sustainable, inclusive economic growth and resilience for an area. Although some projects may on the surface appear to have more of a direct positive impact on certain business sectors, the indirect benefits of these will positively impact the area as a whole.

For example, marketing to tourists may directly benefit shops, restaurants and hotels more than other businesses, however, if these businesses do well, they demand more products and services from other business sectors, as the positive economic impact circulates.

There are also a number of proposed initiatives in the plan that will directly impact businesses across all sectors, such as the preferred supplier programme. This programme will aim to procure a wide range of business services and products at a reduced rate, exclusive to businesses within the BID area – giving your business both direct cost reductions and a competitive advantage over businesses falling outside the BID area.

Since its inception during the consultation process that started in 2019 the BID has consisted of the same area with two exceptions. In April 2020 Chatham Counterguard was added to the proposed BID area following representations from businesses in the area who wanted to be included. This was further extended in June 2020 to include Orange Bastion as proposed by the Task Group due to the major redevelopment plans announced for this area. There have been no changes since then and the same BID map has been used since the business plan was drafted in July 2020, which then became the final business plan in 2021 ahead of the ballot.