Cashing In – Benefits of the Dundee ‘BID’

Significant savings on utility bills are on the horizon if city centre businesses vote in favour of the proposed Dundee Business Improvement District (BID).


With just over two weeks left to vote, almost 450 city centre businesses have the opportunity to kick-start a brighter future by voting for the independent initiative which, supported by levy payers within the city centre, will invest over £1.6M into enhancing the commercial heart of the city during the next five years.  Businesses have until Tuesday 7 April 2015 to submit their vote.

The BID will work on behalf of the businesses within the BID area to negotiate with companies providing utilities, insurance, training and advertising, securing significant savings through collective purchasing and providing a tangible return on investment.

Currently working with over 10 BIDS across Scotland, Business Advisory Service routinely save city centre businesses money, with a fish and chip restaurant in Paisley having achieved savings within the first year of their BID to pay their BID levy for five years!

Catherine Downing, Senior Cost Consultant, Business Advisory Support said, “I very much look forward to helping the organisations in the Dundee BID achieve savings on their utility bills. We have a strong track record of being able to save businesses more than their BID levy cost. In 2014, I account managed savings of over £250,000 to BID businesses and, with one customer, managed to save £20,000 on historic bills before even looking at their future procurement. The areas we target for savings are energy, water and telecoms and the service will be available to all BID businesses, regardless of size.”

Meanwhile, another result from the BID will be the installation of a footfall counter within Dundee’s Murraygate, providing crucial economic footfall and sales data to businesses, while also being used to entice new businesses into the centre. It is planned that these similar tiny counters, which capture data 24 hours a day, seven days a week, will ultimately be installed right across the city centre, providing data which can measure the success of BID initiatives, while also being compared with other towns and cities.

Diane Wehrle, Marketing and Insights Director at Springboard, the leading provider of footfall data to high streets in Scotland and the UK said, “Springboard is delighted to support the BID campaign in Dundee by providing key data on customer activity.  In other towns and cities where our service is used, the information has proven to be highly valuable for BID teams and individual businesses alike in enabling them to understand trends, and to establish the benefits of initiatives that are implemented which are designed to improve trade.”

Jon Walton, Chairman, BID Steering Group commented, “The BID is all about strength in numbers.  We will represent businesses’ interests and, with the collective power of over 400 businesses, will be in a position to lobby the local authority and other public sector bodies to make real change within Dundee city centre.  The BID hasn’t even been formed yet and we have already achieved an amazing result retaining the anti-crime project, DUNCAN.  When it was announced that Dundee City Council was due to cut the service due to budget constraints, we stepped in, made our case and DUNCAN was retained.  Without the BID, the 160 businesses who rely on it would no longer have access to it.  By standing up for their business rights, this is just one example of what we can do.”

The Dundee BID would also offer the much sought-after Worldhost customer care training to businesses at preferable rates, leading to accreditation, improved visitor experiences and ultimately improved sales and performance. 

At present, there are 182 BIDS throughout the UK, 30 of which are in Scotland, representing 16,500 businesses.  They have a 100% success rate at being voted into a second term and the total investment they are now making into our urban centres is over £46M.

For more information, please contact Neil Cooney, BID Consultant – telephone (01382) 434642, email or visit, where a copy of the Dundee BID Business plan is also available.


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