What is a Business Improvement District (BID)

A Business Improvement District (BID) is a business-led and business-funded body formed to improve a defined commercial area.

In each BID’s designated commercial area, a levy is charged on all business rate payers in addition to the business rates bill. This levy is used to develop projects which will benefit businesses in the local area.

There is no limit on what projects or services can be provided through a BID. The only requirement is that all services should be additional to those provided by local authorities. Improvements may include, but are not limited to, extra safety/security, cleansing and environmental measures.

The benefits of BIDs are wide-ranging and include:

  • Businesses decide and direct what they want in their area.
  • Businesses are represented and have a voice in issues affecting their trading area.
  • BID levy money is ringfenced for use only in the BID area.
  • Increased footfall and spend.
  • Enhanced marketing and promotion
  • Forum for new ideas and innovations
  • Place-shaping vision 
  • Facilitated networking opportunities with neighbouring businesses.
  • Assistance in dealing with the Council, Police, and other public bodies.

The Worthing Business Improvement District (BID)

The Worthing Town Centre Initiative, with support from Worthing Borough Council, proposed that the Town Centre became a Business Improvement District with the first proposal being considered by businesses in 2007.  

The business plan was written, following an extensive consultation with the business community, and the postal ballot took place during June 2007.  The ballot was successful and the BID came into force in 2008.

Worthing BID 4th Term 2023-2028

The Worthing BID 4th term renewal was approved on 1st November 2022.  The ballot was successful with 70% of votes cast voting YES, and 75% of the total rateable value of votes cast voting YES.

To view a copy of the 4th Term business plan CLICK HERE

The 4th Term Plan has 5 objectives

  • Promoting the Town and its businesses
  • Improving the visual appeal of the Town
  • Delivering a safer more welcoming Town
  • Driving footfall with markets, events & activities
  • Business support and advice



Worthing Borough Council will calculate and collect the BID levy on behalf of the Worthing Town Centre BID and then funds will be transferred, less the collection charge, to deliver the BID objectives.  Bills are due on April 1st for the full year; if the person liable for the levy changes during the year, a pro rate refund will be issued and a new bill raised for the new “Rate Payer” for the remainder of the levy period.

The Borough Council will use the same recovery procedures used for Business Rates.  With recent business challenges some levy payers may feel they have exceptional circumstances and need help.   Any business that would like Directors to consider their circumstances should complete the form below.


The current BID term is from 1st April 2023 until 31st March 2028 with levy paying businesses liable for a levy of 1.25% of their rateable value.   Businesses within the BID area with a Rateable Value of £12,000 and above, based on the 2017 VOA listing,  are liable to pay the BID levy charge.


The Worthing BID Steering Committee is made up of representatives of the Worthing Town Centre business community each bringing their own expertise and representing BID businesses by sector, size, and location within the town.

The Steering Committee meets monthly to oversee the activity of the Town Centre Team and provide strategic direction. The Steering Committee is responsible for approving and monitoring the annual budget and the BID vision for the town and its businesses.  The Committee is made up of predominantly levy-paying businesses and includes the Local Authorities who are levy payers but also key delivery partners.

All Committee members are asked to declare any pecuniary or personal interests at each meeting and a detailed register of Directors personal interests is updated annually.

If you are a BID levy payer and would like to apply to join the Steering Committee please contact hannah@worthingtowncentre.co.uk to find out more and register your interest. 

To see a list of Steering Committee members CLICK HERE →