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Frequently asked questions

We will add to this section as the project moves along. 


If you have a question that is not addressed here then please contact our project manager, Mags Fenner. 

What is a BID?

A Business Improvement District (BID) is a defined area within which businesses come together,  to deliver projects and services for the betterment of the local area. Coming together in this way benefits individual businesses and the town as a whole. 

How is a BID created?

BIDs can only exist if they get support from a clear majority of local businesses in a vote.  They operate for up to five years and are developed, managed and paid for by businesses through a compulsory BID levy.  If the businesses that are part of the BID want them to continue once the five years are up, another vote must take place.

How does the ballot work?

Each premises that will be part of the BID is given one vote. Postal ballot papers are sent to the person with responsiblity for taking the vote for each premises. There must be a minimum 25% turn out (return of ballot papers) in order for the ballot to be legitimate.  The Rateable Value of premises is also taken into account, therefore the 25% turnout must be both in the number of votes returned and that number must represent 25% or more of the combined rateable value. 

For the ballot to be succesful, of those that vote, over 50% by number and 50% by combined rateable value must vote in favour of the BID.

It is a secret ballot, managed by Electoral Services of Scottish Borders Council; the same team who manage local and general elections for the Region.

How long is a BID for?

BID for Galashiels will have a fixed term of five years - running from April 2025 to March 2030. 

How is it funded?

All eligible businesses in the BID area pay a levy, the levy is set by the Steering Group and is linked to the rateable value of an individual premises.  The Steering Group will set the levy with an eye to both affordability and value for money in relation to the BID bussiness plan.


The projects and services within the BID business plan will not be delivered solely through the levy funding, BID for Galashiels will seek matched funding or contributions in kind to support individual projects and services.

If I vote No - do I still have to pay?

Yes. The BID Business Plan is put to a democratic secret postal ballot of the eligible persons (property owners and/or occupiers) and if the majority vote in favour, all eligible persons liable to pay the non-domestic rate are liable for the levy.

My business has a low rateable value, I didn’t have a vote in the election and I’m not required to pay a levy, can I still benefit from the BID?

Yes, if your rateable value excludes you from becoming a member of the BID, or your business is out with the BID zone, you can become a voluntary levy payer.  Please contact the project manager if you are interested in becoming a voluntary levy payer.

Isn't this just another Council thing? 

Absolutely not! The BID is quite separate and distinct from the Council; it is a project run by Galashiels for Galashiels.


Just like any other property owner, The Council are eligible to vote in the BID ballot and  are required to pay a levy for those premises that fall within the BID zone and for which the Council have rateable responsibility.  

How do I get the most out of the BID?

Get involved. By being involved and working with others to help deliver change and improvement to your local area. A BID provides a structure and finance to be able to get things done which are going to benefit the businesses and their employees. The most progressive BIDs in Scotland have a committed Board of Directors working within a strong local partnership with their local authority and other bodies to deliver improvement, working together to find solutions, with each understanding the priorities and concerns of the other.

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