Attract, Engage, Thrive

Frequently Asked Questions about the BID levy bill

Levy payers have now received their annual levy bill and understandably, we have been asked some questions about it. We thought it would be useful to share these with everyone. Please let us know if there are other questions not mentioned here, and we will do our best to answer as soon as possible. 

Why do we have to pay this amount all at once?

As with any business, in order to deliver the proposals in the Business Plan the BID Company needs working capital, rather than taking out a loan to finance the projects. It is a one-off annual payment. There will be no additional outlay requested by the BID company.  The levy will be spent on additional activity to bring visitors into town, to encourage residents to spend more time and money here and support business growth.

Can I pay by instalment?

Unfortunately not, because that will incur extra cost to the BID and therefore reduce the amount to spend on implementing the Business Plan. 

What’s the basis on which the levy is calculated?

The levy is based on the business rateable value (BRV) of the property.  Where the BRV is more than £5000, the amount is multiplied by 1.5% for a single annual payment for each business. You can find the BRV of our property from this site https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/business-rates-find/search

Do the nationals in town pay as well?

Yes. Every property with a BRV above £5,000 pays. Even if the bill is paid at Head Office, all levy collected is spent on our Town.

Why have we got a Business Improvement District in Saffron Walden?

A BID for our town received a ‘Yes’ vote from 68% of those who voted with the total rateable value of 75% of the total for the BID area. We had a 47% turnout which is higher than the national average turnout for BIDs. The BID ballot was overseen by the Electoral Reform Services who administer national ballots and elections. According to Government legislation for BIDs, the SW BID complied with the majority yes vote and the total rateable values of those voting yes exceeded the no vote.

How will the BID benefit my business?

The themes and activities in the business plan are based on consultation with you as business owners over the past 18 months. But these ideas just scratch the surface. Now that there is a BID for Saffron Walden, we have a great opportunity to explore ideas that have not yet surfaced, eg, better lighting or signage for areas that are off the beaten track, or improving the accessibility of the town.


We are excited to have been given the democratic mandate to work together so we can better realise the potential for Saffron Walden’s businesses with this major investment over the next five years.  I have no doubt the BID will make a real difference in our town and help businesses to thrive. Working together is the way forward.