McCausland announces pilots for first Business Improvement Districts

Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland today announced the successful applicants for participation in the Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) pilot programme. 

Seven areas - Enniskillen, Belfast Lisburn Road, Strabane, Belfast Cathedral Quarter, Newry, Belfast City Centre and Ballymena - will each receive extensive capacity-building support and training through a BID Academy to help them prepare for the establishment of a BID in their area. A consortium made up of the Mosaic Partnership, Place Solutions and the Association of Town and City Management will lead the BIDs Academy.
Expressions of interest were invited last year from areas throughout Northern Ireland to apply to take part in a BID pilot scheme and following a selection process the successful areas have now been announced. 
Speaking on a visit to one of the new pilot areas, Belfast’s Lisburn Road, Minister McCausland said: “Becoming a Business Improvement District enables local traders working alongside their local council to self-manage and self-fund improvement projects which they feel will be of benefit to the area through tackling specific local issues and thereby attracting more visitors to the area. 
“BIDs are pivotal organisations in representing stakeholder interests, in providing leadership for an area, and in acting as catalysts for real improvements. This is an exciting opportunity for these locations to benefit from the expertise of a consortium which has collective experience of developing over 50 BIDs and I look forward to seeing the economic and social benefits that the BIDs will bring throughout Northern Ireland.” 
Peter Carrington from the Lisburn Road BID said: “The BID will help bring businesses in this great district together, to share ideas and feel supported, as well as give them the ability to take responsibility for their area and work together for its future in an inclusive manner.”
Mo Aswat, Director of the Mosaic Partnership which heads up the consortium said: “BIDs are a proven way of managing places more effectively and in a true partnership. We are excited to be working with these locations over the next 18 months to ensure that the development and delivery reflects all the best practice that we have accumulated in our work in England, Scotland and the US.”
Notes to editors:
1. The Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) scheme allows traders and business owners across Northern Ireland to work with their local council to look at improvements their area may need. They then develop a plan of improvements which is costed and then put to a vote. If the vote is successful each business involved in the BID area will be required to pay a BID levy for the five years of the plan.
2. See photos from the Department for Social Development in our collection at
3. Media enquiries to DSD Communication Office on 028 9082 9215. Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699715440 and your call will be returned.
4. Further detail on UK BIDs can be found at