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Information - Business Improvement District

BID Information

A YES vote was declared on 2nd April 2012, for Darlington Town Centre to become a Business Improvement District. The BID company has been developed, with the BID Manager, Alex Swan appointed in June 2012. The company, "Distinct Darlington" will be formally launched at a public event in September 2012.

This site gives information on how a BID will affect Darlington Town Centre, and how it will benefit Darlington Town Centre from our BID Fact Sheet which answers most frequently asked questions. The BID map shows the area that the BID covers.

BID Newsletters
Copies of the BID newsletters issued throughout the process of the BID can be viewed here: August 2011 and, November 2011.

BID Survey
The Darlington Town Centre Improvement Survey ran July to early August to receive business feedback on what matters to them with regard to their town centre business. The survey closed on 12th August 2011 - see the headline survey results.

Business Plan
Following the sector-specific consultation process, the BID Business Plan with its Covering Letter & Summary Sheet have been produced. It outlines the way the BID will be taken forward, showing clearly which projects town centre businesses have prioritised; how they will be delivered and at what cost. The BID levy structure is also included and each business will clearly see what their contribution will be.

BID Ballot
All eligible businesses registered for non-domestic rates of premises within the BID area were able to vote. Ballot papers closed at 5pm on 30th March 2012 and on 2nd April a YES result was declared.

Case Studies
To see how a BID has worked in other towns and cities check out the Bedford and Rugby case studies, where a BID has been working to improve their town centres for over five years. For comparable purposes, Bedford is a similar sized town with a similar town centre mix as Darlington and may prove useful for businesses seeking more detail.

BID Levy Payment
For help or advice relating to payment of the BID levy or bills, please contact the BID payment Customer Services team on 01325 388400 / via email at or visit the BID levy web pages at

National BIDS Advisory Service
Further information on BIDs can also be obtained from the National BIDS Advisory Service.

"This is a fantastic opportunity for businesses to work together and directly influence how money is spent and ensure Darlington town centre reaches its full potential. A BID will enable us to deliver much more targeted marketing and improved management of the town centre so that Darlington can move forward and meet challenges head on."

Binns, House of Fraser, Darlington

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