Last updated: 22 January 2024

Next review: 22 January 2025

What is a Business Improvement District (BID)?

A Business Improvement District (BID) is a business led and business funded scheme to improve a defined commercial area, such as a town centre or industrial estate through additional services or new initiatives.  

Government legislation enabling the formation of BIDs, was introduced in England and Wales in 2003, empowering businesses to ‘raise funds (by means of a levy charge) locally to be spent locally’ on improving their trading environment.

How is a BID established?

The process of developing a BID involves extensive consultation with businesses to establish what improvements they want and may be prepared to pay for. A BID Proposal is then produced and a 28 day postal ballot is held where businesses vote ‘for’ or ‘against’ the proposed programme.  

For the BID to go ahead, two conditions must be met; firstly, a majority of those voting have to vote ‘yes’ and secondly those ‘yes’ votes have to represent more than 50% of the total rateable value of all votes cast. There is no minimum turnout threshold. If these conditions are fulfilled, payment of the levy becomes mandatory for all businesses regardless of how they voted. So, a BID will only be established if the majority of businesses, by number and rateable value, want it.  

How can a BID benefit businesses?

BIDs are viewed by many businesses as a fair and affordable way of creating a ring-fenced fund for up to 5 years that is ‘managed by business for business.’ 

BIDs are set up with a view of improving services. For example, increasing footfall and generating additional consumer spend, creating cleaner, safer and more vibrant areas.

How many BID areas are there in Waltham Forest?

Currently there is one Business Improvement District in Waltham Forest which is the Argall BID in Leyton E10.

How is the Argall BID funded?

The Argall BID is funded through a nominal levy calculated on the rateable value of all businesses within the defined area. Although the percentage can be set higher or lower, the Argall BID applies a 1%* levy to all Ratepayers.

*The BID levy is capped at £1000. The amount of 1% can increase in line with the retail price index as at September of the previous year.

Information around what the BID company delivers can be found on the Argall Bid website.

How long is the current Argall BID term?

The current Argall BID term commenced on 1 January 2023 and will end on 31 December 2027.

I have questions about how the funds from the Argall BID levy are used?

The London Borough of Waltham Forest collects the BID levy however, all funds collected are dispersed by the BID company itself. If you have questions about how the funds collected are used please contact the BID company directly on the Argall BID website.

You can also send an email to

When will I receive my BID Levy Bill and how will I receive it?

The BID Levy is a daily charge with the billing year running from April to April the following year. Therefore, if you move in part-way through a year you will be charged from the date you move in through to 1 April the following year.

The Levy is a one-off charge payable each April.

You will receive an annual BID bill prior to April (Usually March) each year until the end of the BID term.

Your BID bill will be issued by post to the same address as your Business Rates bill.

Whilst we cannot issue BID bills electronically, you can view your BID bill online if you have a Business Rates online account. You can sign up for an online account.

How do I pay the BID levy?

Online Payments

You can make your payment online using your debit/credit card, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week using our Payments portal.

There will also be a QR code on your bill.

Telephone Banking

If you have a telephone banking facility, contact your bank. You will need to give your BID account number and the following details: sort code 20-00-00 bank account number 53234460.

What happens if I don’t pay the BID levy?

If you do not pay your BID Levy recovery action commences in line with legislation and the BID agreement in place. The recovery process is as follows:

  • Bill - Initial request for payment of BID levy with an instalment due date.
  • Reminder - Issued where the BID levy has not been paid as per the bill issued. This notice requests payment within 14 days of issue.  
  • Summons - If the reminder issued remains unpaid a summons will be issued where costs of £179.50 are applied. This summons confirms a court date where we will request for a liability order to be issued against you which will allow us to recover the debt.
  • Liability Order - Once this has been obtained, an additional £20 of costs will be applied to your account and further recovery action will commence. This action may include escalation to Enforcement Agents who will apply their own fees for collection.

If you are facing financial difficulties and cannot pay your BID levy, please contact us on receipt of your bill or a subsequent reminder. As outlined above, once your account reaches the summons stage there will be additional costs payable.

Business Rates enquiries line

Contact details


Revenue Services

London Borough of Waltham Forest
PO Box 856
E17 9PN

Opening times

Monday: 9am to 1pm Tuesday: 9am to 1pm Wednesday: 9am to 1pm Thursday: 9am to 1pm Friday: 9am to 1pm