For businesses not familiar with the concept of BIDs, BID is an acronym for Business Improvement District

BIDs first started in Canada over 40 years ago in a small town called Bloor West Village near Toronto. Businesses were struggling to cope with competition from a new out-of-town shopping centre, which resulted in many business insolvencies, empty shops and a neglected looking town centre. Businesses got together and devised a plan to revitalise the town and successfully lobbied for legislation for all businesses in the proposed BID area to pay a levy. The investment levy money was used to make physical improvements to the appearance of the town centre and to promote the town centre. The strategy paid off and the model has been successfully copied to create BID areas throughout the world. Over the past few years, the popularity of BIDs in the UK has grown at a phenomenal rate, with over 120 established BIDs in the UK. There are currently 17 operational BIDs in Scotland with a further 19 development BIDs and another 14 in the pipeline. This proves that BIDs really do work (particularly through a recession) as a tool for providing the trading environment, which businesses want for themselves, their staff, customers and clients.

In 2015, Dunblane became a BID town and Discover Dunblane BID was born.

What advantages does a BID offer Dunblane?

Discover Dunblane delivers through partnerships and currently works with key stakeholders like Stirling Council, Dunblane Development Trust and other Community groups, Destination Stirling, and Police Scotland Forth Valley Division. These partnerships are key to taking forward projects that will support the business community.

BIDs operate on the basis of statutory contributions.This means that all eligible businesses in the Discover Dunblane BID area would contribute to the scheme after a majority of businesses have supported the BID in the ballot. This means that there is no “free-loading” – everyone benefits and everyone contributes.

The crucial benefit of our BID is that the goals and actions are set by the business members for the benefit of the local businesses and the broader community. Through consultation, a range of projects and services are agreed and then voted upon by all eligible businesses in the Dunblane BID area, with the investment spent locally, in local business for the local community over a 5 year period.   

Download our 5 year business plan

View and download Scotland’s Improvement Districts resources


  • Q: What do we mean by a Business Improvement District (BID)?
    • A: A BID is a geographically defined area where businesses have agreed to invest collectively to improve the trading environment over a fixed period of time.
  • Q: How is a BID funded?
    • A: Businesses agree to pay a levy to invest in projects and initiatives, which are additional to statutory services provided by the Local Authority.
  • Q: Are any other funds available?
    • A: Yes. A BID Company should always try to enhance budgets by sourcing additional funding.
    • Projects and initiatives which have been developed in consultation, detailed in a Business Plan and approved by the levy payers.
  • Q: What does a BID company spend its money on?
    • A: Projects and initiatives which have been developed in consultation, detailed in a Business Plan and approved by the levy payers.
  • Q: How do levy payers approve the Business Plan?
    • A: Every eligible person voted in a postal ballot to say “yes” or “no” to the Business Plan.
  • Q: How do we distinguish between Local Authority services and BID Company projects?
    • A: There is a Baseline Service Agreement drawn up between the Local Authority and the BID Company.
  • Q: How is the BID company operated and be managed?
    • A: The BID is managed by a Board of Directors in a transparent way that is accountable to the businesses in the BID area. Discover Dunblane BID has also appointed a Project Manager to assist in the delivery of the business plan.
  • Q: How is the levy collected?
    • A: Levy payers are invoiced annually for their levy contribution.