What is a Business Improvement District (BID)?

A BID is a business-led initiative where local businesses are invited to come together, in partnership, to make decisions and take action to improve their trading environment.

Through consultation, a range of projects and services are agreed and these are then voted upon by all the businesses in the proposed area. It is important to note that this in no way affects services already in place and funded by local Government. Any funds raised by the BID are in addition to those services already in place.

How will it work?

The income required to deliver a 5 year programme of investments within Otley’s BID area will be almost entirely drawn from the BID levy, collected on behalf of Otley BID by Leeds City Council.

A 1% levy will be charged to each business within the proposed Business Improvement District. For example: if your rateable value is £10,000 you will pay just £100 per year or £1.92 per week. That £1.92 per week will be contributing to a yearly BID income of over £75,000.

Who Decides?

YOU! If you have a business within the proposed BID area you will be invited to vote on whether or not to renew our Business Improvement District in Otley. The renewal ballot will be held in October 2018 and, for the proposal to be approved, to tests must be met:

  • More than 50% of those voting must vote YES.
  • Those YES votes have to represent more than 50% of the total rateable Value of all cast.
Who Will Manage The Funds?

Once a second YES vote is secured the management and operation of the Otleu BID will once again be undertaken by a company limited by Guarantee – Otley BID Ltd.

All members of Otley BID are eligible to join the board of Directors (subject to a member vote of approval). The Otley BID board completely controls the funding and activities in the BID area.

To read more visit The Business Improvement Districts (England) Regulations 2004.

How Do We Support You?

Looking to the future, towns and cities close by such as Ilkley, Harrogate, Ripon and Bradford are also looking at implementing BIDs.

BIDs succeed because they are focused, entrepreneurial and cost efficient – providing a fast and powerful response to business needs.

Increasingly BIDs are becoming a means to move ahead of other locations, and businesses and consumers are choosing BID towns over their competitors.

Otley BID is proud to have been the first Business Improvement District established in the whole of West Yorkshire. Since April 2018 there have been 300 BIDs successfully setup in the UK and Ireland. These include neighbouring towns and cities such as Leeds, Wakefield, York and Keighley. In 2014 Skipton was successful in renewing their BID a second 5 year term.

Successful BIDs have engaged with, and listened to, local businesses. This has left to a sense of ownership so when results are delivered everyone feels proud and benefits from the town’s achievements. The town is drawn closer together and the doors are flung open to new visitors.

The BID Team

Our team is made up of Otley business owners who are all passionate about making Otley a thriving town to work, live and visit. Our Directors give their time voluntarily and meet up once a month to decide on the BID’s priorities and agree the individual projects that each director will help to co-ordinate and bring to fruition. They each bring something different to the team from financial expertise to retail knowledge.

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Chair - Tom Hatley
(Christopher Little & Co)

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Elspeth Harrow
(Newstead & Walker Solicitors)

KatieBurnett 300x300

Katie Burnett
(Courtyard Planters)

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Rory McQuaid
(The Ethical Jeweller)

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Sally Hinchliffe
(Bondgate Bakery)


Jan Evans - Bookkeeper

BID Champions

Our Business Improvement District Champions are your main contacts for any information or support from our team.


Otley BID Champion - Rachelle Atkin
(The Yorkshire Marketing Company)

Rachelle Atkin is our ‘girl about town and marketing expert’! Her role is predominantly communications and to be the face of Otley BID.

This involves welcoming new business owners to the town and explaining how Otley BID can help support their business, and keeping our 300+ existing members updated with the BID’s current projects and priorities. Any feedback from members is reported back to our Board of Directors, raised at monthly Board Meetings and actioned accordingly.

Rachelle also keeps our website updated, creates regular updates which are emailed out to our members, as well as being published via our social media platforms (Facebook and Twitter).

Rachelle has worked with the BID since it was set up in 2013 so is best placed to answer any questions you may have, by emailing her at rachelle.atkin@otleybid.co.uk.


Otley BID Champion - Tim Wilkinson
(Dowgill House Bed & Breakfast)

Tim Wilkinson is your friendly Otley BID Champion with a brief to investigate and fix problems and generally help get things done around town

He has a background in Property and Project Management, before starting his own business and getting involved in Otley’s Chamber of Trade. This experience makes him perfectly placed to help businesses with their landlord problems, a battle with officialdom with LCC, right down to fixing street signs and everything in between.

Tim can turn his hands to most things Otley, and if it’s not something he can sort out himself he can usually find someone who can.

You can email him at tim.wilkinson@otleybid.co.uk.

Boundary Map

Below are the postcodes included within the BID Boundary:

LS21 1AA

LS21 1AD

LS21 1AE

LS21 1AG

LS21 1AH

LS21 1AQ

LS21 1AY

LS21 1AZ

LS21 1BA

LS21 1BB

LS21 1BD

LS21 1BJ

LS21 1BQ

LS21 1BR

LS21 1BT

LS21 1BU

LS21 1BW

LS21 1EG

LS21 1EH

LS21 1FE

LS21 1HB

LS21 1HD

LS21 1HE

LS21 1HL

LS21 1HN

LS21 1HQ

LS21 1JD

LS21 1JE

LS21 1JH

LS21 1QE

LS21 1QL

LS21 1QX

LS21 1SB

LS21 2AA

LS21 2AB

LS21 2JW

LS21 3AA

LS21 3AB

LS21 3AD

LS21 3AE

LS21 3AF

LS21 3AG

LS21 3AJ

LS21 3AL

LS21 3AN

LS21 3AP

LS21 3AQ

LS21 3AS

LS21 3AT

LS21 3AU

LS21 3AY

LS21 3AZ

LS21 3BB

LS21 3BD

LS21 3BJ

LS21 3DR

LS21 3DS

LS21 3DT

LS21 3DZ

LS21 3HA

LS21 3HD

LS21 3HE

LS21 3HJ

LS21 3HN

LS21 3HP

LS21 3HS

LS21 3HW

LS21 3HX

LS21 3JF

LS21 3JJ

LS21 3JN

LS21 3JP

LS21 3JR

LS21 3NX

LS21 3PB

Note 1: If your postcode is not listed but your business is based within the BID area, please contact us for clarification regarding your inclusion.

Note 2: Schools, Hospitals, emergency services and churches are excluded from the BID levy.

Download the most recent Otley BID Business Plan below

New Business Registration

Register today and a member of the BID team will be in touch to book in an onsite visit.