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 from 13th October to 10th November 2023 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 Otley 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, Bradford, Ilkley, Skipton, Wakefield, York and Keighley.

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.

Otley BID Katie Burnett

Chair - Katie Burnett
(Courtyard Planters)

Otley BID Kathryn Armitage

Kathryn Armitage
(Althams Travel)

Otley BID Tom Hatley

Tom Hatley
(Christopher Little & Co)

Otley BID Jennifer Pugh

Jennifer Pugh
(Woolpack Studios)

Otley BID Greg Silverwood

Greg Silverwood
(The Rookery Bar)

Otley BID Alan Sowden

Alan Sowden
(Sowdens Plumbers)

BID Champions

Our 4 Business Improvement District Champions are your main contacts, support the directors in running the BID and helping it achieve its aims:

Otley BID Rachelle Atkin

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

Rachelle is our communications expert.

Managing our website, collecting data through regular surveys, keeping you up-to-date with what the BID is doing and responding to your emails and social media queries (Facebook and Twitter).

She is also the brains behind all our marketing collateral.

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 info@otleybid.co.uk.


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

Tim is our property expert and liaison with Leeds City Council.

With his background in Property and Project Management, this experience makes him perfectly placed to help businesses with investigating matters you raise such as lease renewals/disputes, parking and highways issues, the town’s vacant premises listing (available to view on our website HERE), as well as removing fly posters, repairing and erecting our annual celebratory flags and other ways to improve the look of the town.

You can contact him by emailing tim.wilkinson@otleybid.co.uk.

Otley BID Sally Hinchliffe

Otley BID Champion - Sally Hinchlife
(Bondgate Bakery)

Sally has been a BID Director since its inception in 2014 completing 2 full terms on our board.

If we are successful in gaining a 3rd term Sally will stay on in the background supporting us with day to day administration.

Sally has a useful perspective on wholesaling, retail and food industries as the co-owner of Bondgate Bakery.

Otley BID James Ellis

Otley BID Champion - James Ellis
(Endure Communications)

James is our tourism and PR expert.

He works with ourselves and Otley Town Council to create and manage the town’s tourism marketing strategy. This includes maintaining the Visit Otley (the town’s tourism website) and Buy in Otley (the town’s business directory website), social media, marketing collateral, videos and the Business of the Week promotion.

You can contact him by emailing james@endurecommunications.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