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Manor Royal BID Levy (2020/21) Collection Update

Manor Royal BID Levy (2020/21) Collection Update

The Manor Royal BID has issued the following statement concerning the BID Levy collection process. After a 6 month suspension, the BID Levy collection process will resume on the 1st September. The statement explains why it is important outstanding BID Levy invoices are paid.

Since its creation in 2013, the Manor Royal BID has been responsible for designing, delivering and lobbying for improvements to the Business District that otherwise would not have happened.

Improvements to broadband, facilities, security, maintenance, transport, business support, events, discounted training, free jobs advertising, bespoke and dedicated services, communications, improved signage, digital advertising, road and pavement improvements - the list goes on. As an area and as a community we are better organised, better supported and better represented than ever before.

Through the Manor Royal BID the profile of the area is higher than its ever been. We are regularly asked to comment on strategic plans and policy that has led to additional improvements and investment.

In the first six years of the BID an additional £3.9m has been generated for Manor Royal, of which £1.4m has been in the form of third-party investment directly attributable to Manor Royal BID projects and activities. This does not include other indirect forms of funding leveraged into Manor Royal through our considerable lobbying efforts e.g. for refurbishment of pavements and investment in broadband.

Between now and the end of the current Manor Royal BID term in 2023 an additional £12.4m of additional investment is estimated to come forward, which does not include investment in the Fusion Innovation Centre (£8.7m) or any additional investment to upgrade broadband to gigabit speeds.

It is an impressive record and an excellent return for the modest annual BID levy businesses in Manor Royal are expected to pay.

The Manor Royal BID Levy contribution remains at just 1% of the rateable value for properties of £12,000 rateable value or more. Over two-thirds of UK BIDs now charge 1.5% and more. The Manor Royal BID levy is also capped at just £3,500 per property, again this is very low nationally. 64% of UK BIDs have no cap at all and, where there is one, the average levy cap in the UK is £10,000 per property - almost three times that of the Manor Royal BID. In fact, the Manor Royal BID Levy cap of £3,500 is comfortably in the lower range compared to other UK BIDs. Nor has the Manor Royal BID Board made any adjustment for inflation in the past six years maintaining the levy contribution at just 1%.

Regardless of the difficulties posed by COVID-19 the Manor Royal BID has continued to operate and maintain services to businesses in Manor Royal, for example in security and maintenance. It has made adjustments where it has had to and even introduced new services e.g. the free to access Manor Royal "MicroLearn" eLearning Hub.

Throughout the crisis the Manor Royal BID has been providing support and communications to businesses either through the free to access Manor Royal Business Watch Scheme or through its increased digital and online channels, including setting up dedicated support pages providing access to relevant information, advice and supplier lists (www.manorroyal.org/covid19). The BID has also recently resumed publication of the popular Manor Royal News Magazine and has always been contactable on the phone or by email since the start if the crisis.

The BID is an active part of the Crawley Economic Recovery Taskforce, where it represents Manor Royal interests at Executive level, and has regularly liaised on behalf of Manor Royal with the Local Enterprise Partnership, Government, the local MP and to both local Councils signposting local companies to grants and other sources of help while lobbying extensively on behalf of Manor Royal based businesses.

Throughout the crisis there has been no diminution of effort by the BID that has also featured extensively in the local and national press, including on TV and Radio. Perhaps uniquely the Manor Royal BID is represented at Council and Advisory Board level with the leading industry bodies of The BID Foundation and British BIDs respectively. To support recovery and position Manor Royal strategically with key stakeholders, partners and levy payers the Manor Royal BID has also published its own detailed Recovery Plan (available at www.manorroyal.org/covid19 Section 18)

This record of results, influence and success has been hard fought over a number of years with the promise of more to come.

Without the Manor Royal BID none of this could be or would be possible and without the BID Levy contributions from businesses the Manor Royal BID could not operate.

It is for these reasons we are asking companies to pay their BID Levy contributions in full. Without which the BID would not be viable. Not only would this put in jeopardy the prospect of future investment and potentially slow recovery, it would result in the immediate reduction or cessation of existing services and put at risk the investments made in previous years as the BID would be obliged to restore the Manor Royal Business District to its previous state, which means the removal of signage, banners, digital advertising boards, facilities, park areas, security cameras and additional security, maintenance and business support services.

We very much hope that this explains why it is so important to continue to support the Manor Royal BID in full and why the Manor Royal BID represents excellent value and return on investment.

We understand this is a difficult time for businesses, which is why the Manor Royal BID Board elected to postpone the levy collection process for six months. However, if the BID is to survive, maintain service levels and to deliver wider improvements as set out in its Business Plan as voted for by businesses the collection process must resume in September.

If you are a levy paying business and need help or support, please contact Steve Sawyer, Manor Royal BID, Executive Director.

In the meantime, we thank you for your support.

See the Collection Update letter here

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