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What is Lincoln BIG?

Lincoln BIG is a not for profit organisation, registered as a company, limited by guarantee and any surplus revenues are ploughed back into delivering the aims and objectives of the company.

When was Lincoln BIG started?

Lincoln Business Improvement Group (Lincoln BIG) was created by businesses in Lincoln city centre that voted, by secret ballot, to establish a Business Improvement District (BID) in April 2005.

How does Lincoln BIG operate?

Lincoln BIG is a company limited by guarantee, and operates within regulations set by the government when operating a Business Improvement District. Lincoln BIG became a BID in April 2005.

The services that Lincoln BIG deliver are identified through careful consultation with businesses and retailers in the BID.

What area does Lincoln BIG cover?

The BID area from West to East is Brayford Way (over the university campus) to Broadgate (including Lincoln College) and from North to South is Newport Arch to St Marks Shopping Centre. Download a detailed BID area map.

What does Lincoln BIG deliver?

The services that Lincoln BIG deliver are identified through careful consultation with businesses and retailers within the BID area. Our core activities are:

  • Events and promotions
  • Evening Economy Management
  • Lincoln in Bloom
  • Safety Strategy
  • Street Management
  • Discounted Car and Bus services.

How is Lincoln BIG funded?

Lincoln BIG is funded by a variety of sources to deliver services:

  • The BID Levy, equivalent to 1% of rateable value, which is paid by all except businesses with a rateable value below £6,000 per annum
  • Investor members, such as major landowners and those outside of the BID area, who have a say in what we do through our investor membership scheme
  • Income generated through our own trading activities such as security and events
  • Service Level Agreements with the local authorities and others to deliver initiatives to improve the city centre
  • Grants and other funding opportunities.

In summary, about a third of our revenue comes from the BID levy, a third from trading and investor membership and a third from the grants and services.

Who decided to create the BID in Lincoln?

The decision to create a BID in Lincoln was taken by business ratepayers in a ballot held on 18th April 2005. 44% of businesses voted in this ballot and 79% were in favour of its creation.

What is a Business Improvement District (BID)?

A BID is a partnership between a local authority and the local business community to develop projects and services that will benefit the trading environment within the boundary of a defined commercial area.

BIDS give local businesses the power to make changes that will benefit them in their local community.  Improvements may include extra safety and security, cleansing and environmental measures, improved marketing and promotions of the area, better events, and greater say for businesses on key issues.

How are Lincoln BIG’s services monitored?

Lincoln BIG is answerable to members and levy payers. As a business in its own right, our organisation is controlled by a board of directors drawn from stakeholders in the city centre.

An annual report is published in June every year which sets out what has been achieved. All members are entitled to attend the Annual General Meeting and vote directors on to the Lincoln BIG board. Six of the 18 directors are appointed to the Board by Lincoln BIG members, four by our Investor members, two each by our Founder Members and four by co-opted members to ensure diverse representation on the board.

What is the BID levy?

The levy is for your share of the costs of operation of the BID in Lincoln from 1st July to 30th June. The money is collected by the City of Lincoln Council and passed to Lincoln BIG to deliver a range of initiatives to improve the city centre. It will be collected every July of the five-year period, with an inflationary increase.

How long does a BID last?

A BID can last a maximum of 5 years, after which businesses must vote again if they wish to continue. 

How is the bill amount calculated?

The amount is based on 1% of the rateable value of properties in the city centre based on the current rateable value of the property at the time of the BID ballot. 

How can I get involved with Lincoln BIG?

All businesses in the city centre will automatically receive Lincoln BIGs services and invitations to events. Your business can become a member of Lincoln BIG, which allows you to stand and/or appoint directors of Lincoln BIG and vote at the Annual General Meeting (AGM).

As a business in the city centre, we would love to hear your views. If you have any comments, suggestions or concerns please get in touch.

How can I become a director of Lincoln BIG?

To become a director of Lincoln BIG you will need to be a member. You are then eligible to stand for election at the Annual General Meeting (AGM). As a director, you will help set the strategic direction of Lincoln BIG to ensure that our services meet the needs of people living, visiting and working in the city centre.

Will the BID area be extended?

There are no current plans to extend the BID area. However, Lincoln BIG would consider an extension where invited to do so by a sufficient number of businesses in an area adjacent to the current BID boundary. 

How can I make a complaint?

Whilst we continually strive to ensure our services are delivered to high standards, there may be times when we make mistakes.

If you have a complaint about our services please get in touch. If you think the problem might be solved by our City Centre Wardens, please report an issue.

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