A business improvement district is a defined area where the local business community come together to develop projects and services that will benefit the trading environment within the boundary of a clearly defined commercial area (see www.ukbids.org for more information).

Extra income is levied in the form of a percentage on the rateable value of a property which is reinvested in activities, resources and improvements to the area. This form of funding is a fair and transparent levy on all eligible businesses occupiers within the BID area. Following a yes vote (a majority by numbers and rateable value), a Business Improvement District not-for-profit limited company is set up as a dedicated resource to manage the area for 5 a maximum of years, before it goes to renewal ballot. With this mandate, the generated income is used for services above the usual statutory provisions and baseline agreements are drawn up with partners to ensure activities are additional to, not a replacement of, local (Council) services. It is the businesses in Southside that will decide what extra services they want to see. Business Improvement Districts mean there is no freeloading by any businesses within the area. Only those with a rateable value of less than £12,000 are exempt from the levy. Across the UK there are over 90 BIDs operating and within Birmingham there are already successful BIDs in action;

The BIDs are supported by Birmingham City Centre Partnership who aim ‘to create a world class city centre for Birmingham’.


The map shows the BID area for Southside. It was designed to sit next to the successful Retail BID that covers the city centre shopping core.

Within the area there are 270 eligible businesses (properties with a rateable value of £12,000 and above) including independent retailers, hotels, theatres, bars, clubs, warehouses, car parks and restaurants. The area includes key businesses and locations such as: The Hippodrome, The Radisson Hotel, The Arcadian, The IBIS, The Electric Cinema, The Old Rep Theatre, Nightingale Club, Hurst Street Bars and Clubs, The O2 Academy, The Wholesale Markets and Chinatown plus a host of retail and office units.

The BID has the capability to raise £1.5million of extra investment for additional services to improve the Southside area including which is over £300,000 each year.

The Map currently looks like this:

To see whether your business features in the Business Improvement District and to work out what your annual contribution would be, please do not hesitate to call 0121 643 3720.


The first BID term commenced on the 1st April 2011 and continued for 5 years bringing positive change to Southside after a successful ballot result with 82% of businesses voting being in favour! A BID Manager was appointed from 1st May 2011 and in June 2011, Southside BID kicked off the Streets Plan, designed to make real improvements to our Southside streets. A number of projects were put together by a team of private sector and key stakeholders, including BASW, Radisson Blu, LCP Properties, the Police and Birmingham City Council. These include;

Community/Business Information & Safety – Pub Watch, Security Radios, Business advice and access to security advice and training.


District Wide Deep Clean*

Street Warden service provided by key partner APCOA plus Street Pastor service from December 2012.



Retail/Leisure Crime Prevention  – 40 businesses involved in trial project of new radios & data sharing which link all Southside businesses with each other, the Police, Paramedics and the Street Warden service.

Festive Lights – £60K investment with Southside BID in district wide festive lights with thanks to our partners L&G, Arcadian and GB Training.



Our Scene Programme kicked off in May 2011 and since then a number of initiatives have assisted to improve footfall to the district and provide our members with new and repeat customers.

This includes;


A series of films called Southside stories, watch them now online on www.southsidestories.co.uk

SouthGuides –  2 distinct Area Guides on our Chinatown and Gay Village areas of Southside.

Our new visitor website www.enjoysouthside.co.uk

Southside Spotlights and our business network – our regular business newsletter and series of network events featuring opportunities and information for your business.

District banners and street signs to brand our district so visitors know where to come.

Christmas campaign with Marketing Birmingham plus Christmas events all over the district

All that and we have facilitated 40 businesses to access grants after the August 2011 disorder in the city centre, liaised between businesses and the New St construction project over traffic changes and helped to solve a myriad of problems for our members which allow them to concentrate on their bottom line, resulting in business success.

*The district wide deep clean excluded tarmac pavements as they can be damaged by deep cleaning process.

The second BID term commenced on the 1st of April 2016 following a successful ballot result of 85% (95% by rateable value) voting in favour.  The second term ends in March 2021 and we will go out for renewal ballot again before the term ends.  During this second term we aim to build on the successes achieved during the first working in partnership with our businesses and stakeholders to improve Southside as a District.