Our Colchester

Our Colchester business improvement district

Our Colchester Business Improvement District (BID) is an organisation that represents more than 400 businesses across Colchester town centre and aims to make a difference to our streets. By building relationships and partnerships with key stakeholders across the town, we see Colchester moving in a positive direction through Invigorating, Imagination and Connecting.

Our projects over the next five year will be targeted towards making Colchester a better place to work, live and visit. We will add value through business support, making Colchester cleaner and greener, town centre marketing and events.


Together, with collaborative working, we can achieve greater things.

IN COLCHESTER

In Colchester is our consumer brand designed to be the go-to brand for everything taking place in the town centre. This ranges from events, offers, business directory and a selection of different blogs.

Photography by Rodger Tamblyn

Year 2 plans

The BID has created it's plans for year 2, which focuses on making Colchester town centre the best place to work, live and visit. Our plans look to increase the footfall coming into the town centre but also focus on the way our town looks or feels to those who come and visit. Key campaigns and events have been planned throughout the year to highlight our town to members of the public, providing a reason for them to come into town and explore. Projects have been planned to develop our town and grow our reputation. These plans fall in line with our Business Plan, aiming to reach our year 5 goals. 

The plans for year 2 are:

  • Business event- In the summer we will be hosting a "Business Festival" which will include a fun day with obstacle course followed shorty by a business conference for all of those who work in the town centre can attend.
  • BID In Bloom- Launching again this Summer, the BID will contribute to delivering a range of flower displays across the town centre. These will include eye-catching colours and beautiful displays similar to last year. 
  • Empty units- Over the next few months, a range of creative artwork designed by Mark Tichner will be placed in empty units across the town. This is to increase the appearance of empty units and create a welcoming environment for all.
  • Marketing- A strategic plan for year 2 has been developed including events and campaigns to demonstrate how Colchester is the best place to work, live and visit. 
  • Nighttime Economy- The BID will promote events and promotions from the Nighttime Economy working alongside Colchester Pubwatch to explore avenues in improving safety and security within the BID.
  • Independent Businesses- This focus group is now working on a project to draw focus on selected streets across the town. We hope will increase footfall and the overall attractiveness of the area. 

IN COLCHESTER BRAND 

www.incolchetser.co.uk

In Colchester is a consumer-facing brand which aims to bring footfall and spent into the town, becoming the go-to website for town centre information. In Colchester launching in August 2019 and has been growing ever since. We promote all BID businesses on this website and build a positive representation for Colchester town centre.

SIGN UP

If you are a non-BID business in the town centre and want to keep up to date with relevant information from the BID, please follow the link to fill in a short contact form. By completing this form, Our Colchester can contact you in regards to upcoming projects we think you should be aware off or gives you the opportunity to receive newsletters from the BID. 

Please click here to complete the form.

WHAT IS A BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT (BID)?

A BID is a business-led partnership that enables coordinated investment in the management and marketing of a defined area.  The BID will provide sustainable, consistent investment for Colchester and its businesses. Businesses decide and direct what they want for the area by having a voice on issues affecting the area. A BID charge (known as a levy) is ring-fenced for use only in the BID area – unlike business rates which are paid into, and redistributed, by Government.  It brings additionality of services not replacement services.

Colchester High Street

Photography by Rodger Tamblyn

Local businesses would be in total control of a future BID and it represents all sectors, promoting collaborative working with others to achieve greater things. The benefits of BIDs cited by the businesses they represent are wide-ranging and include:

  • Increased footfall
  • Improved staff retention
  • Collaborative and cohesive marketing strategy for promotion of the town
  • Businesses decide and direct what they want for the BID area
  • BID levy money is ring-fenced for use only in the BID area – unlike business rates which are paid into, and redistributed, by the government
  • Giving the BID area a coherent and united voice
  • Facilitated networking opportunities with neighbouring businesses
  • Dedicated business to business communication, so we all know what’s happening in our area
  • Assistance in dealing with the Council, Police and other public bodies

Our Colchester is the BID for Colchester town centre.

Bid FAQs

How long does the BID last?

The maximum period that a Business Improvement District levy can be charged is for 5 years.Once the term is completed the Business Improvement District will automatically cease. If the Business Improvement District Company wants to continue its activities it must hold a new ballot.

How do we pay for all these great business ideas?

The BID will form a levy which goes into pot that will only be used BID area – unlike business rates which are paid into, and redistributed, by Government. It brings additionality of services not replacement services. The levy rate to be paid by each property or hereditament is to be calculated as 1.5% of its rateable value as at the ‘chargeable day’ (notionally 1st October each year). Only businesses with a rateable value of £14,999 or more will be eligible for payment of the levy. The number of properties or hereditaments liable for the levy is circa 491. From 2019 onwards, the levy rate will be increased by the fixed rate of inflation of 2% per annum. The levy will be charged annually in advance for each chargeable period (October to September each year),

How would a BID work in Colchester?

Our Colchester BID will action its business plan to provide sustainable future for the town centre, led by businesses within the BID zone. There will be a controlling body formed which will be made up of different business types in Colchester town centre.

Threshold, Caps & Exemptions

All properties or hereditaments with a rateable value of £14,999 or more will be eligible for payment of the levy. Occupiers within shopping centres that are subject to a service charge will pay 1.2% of their rateable value. Charitable organisations that are subject to relief on their business rates liability will also pay a levy of 1.2%. Both the Sixth Form College and Colchester Institute are exempt from paying the levy. The Licensing Authority currently does not have a policy to introduce a Late Night Levy during the term of the BID. The maximum amount payable for any one hereditament has no cap.

Who are we?

We are a BID steering group primarily formed of members from the Colchester Presents Community Interest Company (CIC). We are however looking for additional members for our steering group across all sectors so if you would like to be involved please do contact us.

We are dedicated to ensuring our town centre prospers into the future, by providing high quality services that businesses want, and by building a vision for our marvellous town centre that customers and businesses alike can embrace.

We do hope you will support Our Colchester BID. We look forward to working with you.

How can I find out more information?

You can find the full BID business plan here or make contact via email at hello@ourcolchester.co.uk, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more updates.

When does the BID start?

Autumn 2018.

Has this BID worked elsewhere?

Yes. There are over 280 BIDs in the UK and this number is growing. Many of these BIDs have been in existence for a number of years. The first BID in the UK was Kingston, Surrey, in 2005. Nearby BIDs to Colchester include Ipswich and Southend. One is currently in the process of being established in Chelmsford.

What does the BID area look like in Colchester?

The BID zone covers most of the town centre and you can see the full parameters of where the area falls in the full business plan here.

Can businesses and organisations who don’t pay a levy also contribute?

Yes, in other BID areas where businesses have been removed from paying the BID levy or if they are outside of the BID boundary, they can opt to become a ‘Friend of the BID’ and make a voluntary or in-kind contribution.

How is the BID formed?

Our Colchester BID is formed by the BID board, Advisory Group and Operations Team. Working together, a strategic plan is created and formed for each year, alongside a long term goal for the five-years.

How can I join the BID Board?

Our Colchester BID is accepting applications for 2 new BID Board positions until Friday 28th August, with interviews to be held in September.
To apply for one of these roles, please download and fill in our Application Form. Completed forms should be emailed (with a CV included) to hello@ourcolchester.co.uk before the 28th of August deadline.

How long does the BID last?

The maximum period that a Business Improvement District levy can be charged is for 5 years.Once the term is completed the Business Improvement District will automatically cease. If the Business Improvement District Company wants to continue its activities it must hold a new ballot.

When does the BID start?

Autumn 2018.

How do we pay for all these great business ideas?

The BID will form a levy which goes into pot that will only be used BID area – unlike business rates which are paid into, and redistributed, by Government. It brings additionality of services not replacement services. The levy rate to be paid by each property or hereditament is to be calculated as 1.5% of its rateable value as at the ‘chargeable day’ (notionally 1st October each year). Only businesses with a rateable value of £14,999 or more will be eligible for payment of the levy. The number of properties or hereditaments liable for the levy is circa 491. From 2019 onwards, the levy rate will be increased by the fixed rate of inflation of 2% per annum. The levy will be charged annually in advance for each chargeable period (October to September each year),

Has this BID worked elsewhere?

Yes. There are over 280 BIDs in the UK and this number is growing. Many of these BIDs have been in existence for a number of years. The first BID in the UK was Kingston, Surrey, in 2005. Nearby BIDs to Colchester include Ipswich and Southend. One is currently in the process of being established in Chelmsford.

How would a BID work in Colchester?

Our Colchester BID will action its business plan to provide sustainable future for the town centre, led by businesses within the BID zone. There will be a controlling body formed which will be made up of different business types in Colchester town centre.

What does the BID area look like in Colchester?

The BID zone covers most of the town centre and you can see the full parameters of where the area falls in the full business plan here.

Threshold, Caps & Exemptions

All properties or hereditaments with a rateable value of £14,999 or more will be eligible for payment of the levy. Occupiers within shopping centres that are subject to a service charge will pay 1.2% of their rateable value. Charitable organisations that are subject to relief on their business rates liability will also pay a levy of 1.2%. Both the Sixth Form College and Colchester Institute are exempt from paying the levy. The Licensing Authority currently does not have a policy to introduce a Late Night Levy during the term of the BID. The maximum amount payable for any one hereditament has no cap.

Can businesses and organisations who don’t pay a levy also contribute?

Yes, in other BID areas where businesses have been removed from paying the BID levy or if they are outside of the BID boundary, they can opt to become a ‘Friend of the BID’ and make a voluntary or in-kind contribution.

Who are we?

We are a BID steering group primarily formed of members from the Colchester Presents Community Interest Company (CIC). We are however looking for additional members for our steering group across all sectors so if you would like to be involved please do contact us.

We are dedicated to ensuring our town centre prospers into the future, by providing high quality services that businesses want, and by building a vision for our marvellous town centre that customers and businesses alike can embrace.

We do hope you will support Our Colchester BID. We look forward to working with you.

How is the BID formed?

Our Colchester BID is formed by the BID board, Advisory Group and Operations Team. Working together, a strategic plan is created and formed for each year, alongside a long term goal for the five-years.

How can I find out more information?

You can find the full BID business plan here or make contact via email at hello@ourcolchester.co.uk, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more updates.

How can I join the BID Board?

Our Colchester BID is accepting applications for 2 new BID Board positions until Friday 28th August, with interviews to be held in September.
To apply for one of these roles, please download and fill in our Application Form. Completed forms should be emailed (with a CV included) to hello@ourcolchester.co.uk before the 28th of August deadline.

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