the Business Forum and
the Economic Partnership
in Brighton & Hove
Homepage    BCRP Intranet    Funding    Events    Knowledgebase    Links    About us     Contact us
Key projects



Workforce development 


Business &

Property &
Development sites




Consultation opportunities

Brighton & Hove Business Forum
8-11 Pavilion Buildings, Brighton, BN1 1EE
Tel: 01273 735442
Email: info@brighton

© Brighton & Hove
Business Forum

News - 2 October 2004

Christmas - perfect for a Business Improvement District

Despite much coaxing and cajoling by the Business Forum, traders in Brighton have resolutely refused to fund communal Christmas lights this year. Could Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) be the answer?

The Christmas 2004 campaign in Brighton started in January with a review meeting and the first request for money went out in May. Despite being followed up by a further letter in June and an increasingly urgent request in August just 79 businesses out of nearly 700 promised to contribute a total of just over £17,000. Even with an £18,000 contribution from the local authority this didn’t come close to financing a display. In The Lanes and North Laine alone that would have needed £60,000 every year for the next three years. Much of the existing lighting display is five years old and past its sell-by date. Brighton needs to move towards modern, purpose-made, cross-street displays that are easy to install and relatively trouble free. Over 70% of the cost of lighting in previous years has been for erection and removal. Cross street displays are expensive to purchase (hence spreading the expense over three years) but cheap and quick to put up and take down.

The people who benefit most from Christmas lights are retailers but many are reluctant to pay unless everyone pays. It is almost impossible to remove the “free-rider” element of funding projects like this. Those that don’t pay will get lights anyway. But not this year.

A Business Improvement District based on Christmas lights would compel even the free-riders to pay if a referendum showed a majority in favour (see knowledgebase for explanation of BIDs). Unfortunately although the legislation to allow BIDs was given Royal Assent a couple of years ago the regulations have only just been finalised, which means it is too late for 2004. Also, because a BID requires the lengthy process of a full referendum before it can be levied and is then collected as part of the Uniform Business Rate (UBR), it may not be possible to organise for 2005 either. Two years without lights might concentrate the minds of those businesses that assumed they would get lights anyway without paying.

Read related items on:
Retail, pubs, clubs and restaurants
Business Improvement Districts
Brighton & Hove Business Forum

Browse our business Knowledgebase or search by keyword


20 March 2018
Brighton names most entrepreneurial city AND second best for student happiness according to Fresh Student Living
19 March 2018
A Meeting with Chris Fox, Lib Dem Peer - Why Business Matters 14 March 2018
Better Business for All Event with BEIS 7 March 2018
Brighton celebrates women in tech as Spring Forward festival returns for a fourth year 6 March 2018
Six months of success for BTN BikeShare 2 March 2018
Sustainability in Action masterclasses for Sussex businesses 2 March 2018
Doing Business in China comes to Brighton 1 March 2018
Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce presents: Protecting your brand- a guide for fast growth businesses 1 March 2018
Long haul passengers boost local economy and jobs, according to new Gatwick report on the 'Visitor Economy' 28 February 2018
Save time reporting crime 27 February 2018
Warren Morgan Resigns from Brighton & Hove City Council 23 February 2018
Brighton Technology Company, Paxton Ranks in Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For 23 February 2018
Greater Brighton's Commercial Property Database 22 February 2018
SE-ASSIST - Launch of Loan Capital in Greater Brighton 19 February 2018
House Price update Q4 2017 19 February 2018
What would you do in a crisis? 19 February 2018
The investment journey for high growth entrepreneurs 9 February 2018
Make Change Count 2018 - helping rough sleepers in Brighton & Hove 8 February 2018
Brighton Technology Company Paxton Announces Recipients of New Scholarship Programmein Association with the University of Brighton 8 February 2018
Cyber London Accelerator Invites Summer 2018 Entries 8 February 2018
Innovate UK Launches Strand 2 Emerging and Enabling Technologies Sector Competition 8 February 2018
Success In Sussex As Food And Drink Heroes Crowned Winners 8 February 2018
UK Games Fund - Fourth Round Open to Applications 8 February 2018
Innovate UK & Prince's Trust Launch Young Innovators' Programme 6 February 2018
Brighton & Hove Food Partnership launches 'Kit Out The Kitchen' crowdfunding campaign 2 February 2018
Brighton & Hove Council and Crest Nicholson win £15m government funding to kickstart King Alfred project 1 February 2018
Could a Utilise Plus Programme grant help you? 1 February 2018
Shoreham Port Facilitates Huge Operation 18 January 2018
IUK Announces Collaborative R&D Funding for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles Simulation 18 January 2018
Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Launches $1 Billion Corporate Venture Capital Fund for Next Generation Mobility 17 January 2018
PORTlife #17 Newsletter Out Now 17 January 2018
Over £19,000 raised for Burning the Clocks 2017 11 January 2018
Brighton Main Line Improvement Project: Planned closures in October 2018 and February 2019 11 January 2018
Come on in! Fairtrade Fortnight 2018 8 January 2018
Sussex Business SkillSnap targets hospitality industry skill shortage 3 January 2018
House Price update 2017 Q3 20 December 2017
£14.35 Million European Regional Development Fund Launched 19 December 2017
Leading the way - Sustainability in Action masterclass 15 December 2017
Brighton is among the best places to start a business due to their strong growth factors 15 December 2017
GTR consultation ends 20th Dec 2017