A BID can help the regeneration and management of rural areas by delivering real and latest results. All local partners will benefit from the projects and services, and all contribute to the costs. BIDs are, therefore, fully accountable at a local level.
Normally a partnership with the local authority, a rural BID is also likely to be a partnership with the local Development Trust, Heritage Trust, Community Council or any other local group with the same objectives and vision as the BID businesses. A rural BID may need to partner with an adjoining area to help to secure the finance needed to deliver a sustainable BID model. However both areas would have the opportunity to contribute to a common project covering the entire BID area such as a tourism and visitor strategy or renewable energy provision. This could lead to substantial cost and efficiency savings.
A rural BID can deliver:
- Ø Growth of sustainable businesses in rural areas,
- Ø Increased visitor numbers and encourage greater spend,
- Ø Broadening and strengthening of the rural economy,
- Ø Improved accessibility and quality of public and commercial services that local people and businesses depend on,
- Ø Help to build resilient, sustainable rural communities,
- Ø A safer, more attractive environment,
- Ø A cleaner, improved environment for visitors and tourists,
- Ø Higher-impact area marketing and promotion,
- Ø The opportunity to attract additional funding,
- Ø Greater control over business issues and how they are managed in your area,
- Ø Collectively invested money which works harder and smarter,
- Ø Greater networking and partnership opportunities with other businesses, statutory authorities, voluntary and community organisations.
Rural Scotland covers 95 per cent of the land area and 18 per cent of the population. It is an integral part of the country’s economy, environment and culture. The Scottish Government aims to promote development in rural areas and empower communities. It wants to see a rural Scotland that is outward looking and dynamic - with a diverse economy and active communities.
Main priorities include tackling infrastructure; land use, community participation, community enterprise and business and skills.
The Scotland Rural Development Programme (SRDP) includes economic, environmental and social measures, worth some £1.5 billion to help deliver the Government’s strategic objectives in rural Scotland.
It is outcome-focused and primarily aims to deliver a greener Scotland and to promote a wealthier and fairer rural Scotland. It contributes to the Government’s healthier and smarter objectives and will help to strengthen rural communities.
The SRDP covers the farming, forestry and primary processing sectors, rural enterprise and business development, diversification and rural tourism.
The Scottish Government is also keen to promote community benefit from renewable energy. Scotland is experiencing a new energy revolution. As well as developing the offshore renewable industry, the Scottish Government believes that Scotland and its local communities should benefit directly and, in the long-term, from the exploitation of the natural resources of wind, wave and tidal power.
BIDs in rural areas will contribute to the Scottish Government’s objectives, helping to encourage business viability, diversity and regeneration. BID projects can include renewable energy, waste reduction and recycling – delivering community and business benefits.
The BID model is incredibly flexible and could work well in rural partnerships to help local businesses and the community to tackle specific rural issues.
Projects which could help attract more visitors and tourists for rural businesses might include introducing greater broadband access, introducing village ATMs, developing new picnic areas and play areas, providing extra bus services or organising new events such as local markets and festivals. It may also be appropriate to appoint a rural development project officer who can coordinate activities and source further funding for the BID.