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Cambridge BID to be extended for further five-year term after overwhelming vote in favour





Cambridge Business Improvement District (BID) will be extended for a further five years after an overwhelming vote in favour of its extension.

In a ballot of non-domestic ratepayers in the BID area, 84 per cent of votes backed its third consecutive term, which represents 92 per cent of the rateable value of the votes cast.

It means the BID will be extended from April 2023 to March 2028.

Ian Sandison, CEO of Cambridge BID. Picture: Richard Marsham
Ian Sandison, CEO of Cambridge BID. Picture: Richard Marsham

Cambridge BID is an independent, business-led, not-for-profit company that is funded by an annual levy from businesses within its boundary area. It works on a range of projects designed to make Cambridge a “welcoming, friendly city for all”, including improving the visitor experience, supporting businesses, hosting events and festivals, developing the Love Cambridge brand and organising the ‘Big Switch On’ of the Christmas lights.

Under its proposal for the next term, the BID will charge a 1.25 per cent levy on occupiers of non-domestic properties with a rateable value above £34,500 in its area to generate close to £6.5million over five years, which it will use fund activities to enhance the city centre and CB1 area that for those living, working and visiting there.

Ian Sandison, CEO of Cambridge BID, said: “This is excellent news for Cambridge as it means that £6.5m of investment will be generated for the city over the next five years. We are very pleased with the result and look forward to delivering our existing projects as well as the new initiatives outlined in our new business plan.

“Our vision is to create a world class experience for all who visit, live and work in Cambridge, a global city.”

An open air screening of the movie Grease in the market square, organised by Cambridge BID. Picture: Richard Marsham
An open air screening of the movie Grease in the market square, organised by Cambridge BID. Picture: Richard Marsham

Cambridge City Council was responsible for organising and managing the BID’s 28-day postal ballot, which was administered by Civica under the 2004 BID legislation.

Cllr Alice Gilderdale, executive councillor for recovery, employment and community safety, said: “I am very pleased that Cambridge BID’s plans have been strongly endorsed by local businesses as they look to work through a very difficult period for many following the challenges brought about by the pandemic and the cost of living crisis.

“This result will help to secure the future of a number of vital services and projects for city centre businesses and the wider Cambridge community.

Cambridge BID administers the Love Cambridge Gift Card, accepted at many businesses within the city
Cambridge BID administers the Love Cambridge Gift Card, accepted at many businesses within the city

“We look forward to continuing our joint work with Cambridge BID to support both residents and visitors to make the most of all that our magical city has to offer and support its sustainable recovery.”

Among the projects organised by Cambridge BID is the book bench art trail and it worked with Wild in Art and Break to bring the Cows about Cambridge sculpture trail to the city last year.

Ian Sandison, CEO of from Cambridge BID, on the bench by Hobbs Pavillion with one of book benches. Picture: Keith Heppell
Ian Sandison, CEO of from Cambridge BID, on the bench by Hobbs Pavillion with one of book benches. Picture: Keith Heppell

It organises cinema nights in the market square, runs Restaurant Week and arranges the mystery shop programme and associated Cambridge BID Awards which rewards those organisations scoring highly for customer service.

It also runs the Love Cambridge Gift Card, manages the Ambassadors and runs business support events.

Having extended its area to CB1, it also organised the Window Wanderland community arts project in Station Road.

It also worked on achieving Purple Flag status with Cambridge Business Against Crime (CAMBAC) and partners, to help ensure the city is a safe place to visit in the evening.



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