About the BID

Although they have existed since the 1970s, Scotland’s first five BIDs became operational in 2006, paving the way for another 28 successful town-centre BIDS throughout Scotland, with another 30 in development.

The more BIDs we see in action, the clearer it becomes that the model is not only sustainable, but highly effective. The future of Scotland’s town centres looks far brighter than once feared.

BIDs generate an initial budget by charging a small levy to all businesses within a designated area. The levy charged is commensurate to the projects that those businesses wish to see performed. This levy is usually doubled or tripled by sourcing external funding. This can come from the Local Authority, Scottish Government, or any number of organisations wishing to support the BID’s activity. All funds generated are then used to invest in the BID area.

Penicuik First was spotlighted in the “National Report on BIDs in Scotland 2017” as the most effective BID in the country at leveraging external funding, expanding its comparatively modest budget many times over by accessing external funds from Scottish Government, European Union, Cycling Scotland… and in 2017/18 partnering Midlothian Council on the £3.5m “Penicuik Heritage Regeneration” project, which will use funds from Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Environment Scotland and others to make a real, fantastically positive difference to the town centre.

Penicuik First began development in 2014, when every business in what is now the town centre BID area was asked how they’d like to see their trading area improved. Those consultations became our Business Plan, which was delivered to the “eligible person” for each of those businesses, along with a postal ballot paper. A decisive 76% of ballot papers returned a “yes” vote and Penicuik First was born.

Our early projects were teed up and ready to go from Day One (1st July 2015); in fact we had already produced and delivered 20,000 “Journey To Penicuik” visitor guides across Midlothian before then! The first ongoing project, the Penicuik Market, has gone from strength to strength and our many projects since have helped visibly change Penicuik’s streetscape for the better. Have a look at our past, ongoing and future projects through this site’s main menu bar.

If your business is part of Penicuik First, or if you’re just curious and would like to know more, just use the contact form on this site!

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