The Wight Bid

The Isle of Wight is blessed with characteristics that make it one of the loveliest places in the UK to holiday, and Visit Isle of Wight has played a pivotal role in raising the profile of the Island as one of the UK’s premier holiday destinations. Moving forwards, The WIGHT BID offers Island businesses the opportunity to continue driving that success within a new democratic structure, accountable to the industry and supported by all.

The WIGHT BID is a Business Improvement District (BID) that aims to increase the number of new visitors who come to the Island, encourage them to stay longer and spend more in our Island communities. If the majority of those voting in the summer 2016 postal ballot support the proposal, all eligible businesses with a rateable value of £3000 or more will be required to pay an annual levy which will contribute to the funding of the BID programme, for a period of five years.

Marino Zanti, General Manager at The Needles Landmark Attraction, comments, “The importance of tourism and leisure to the Island visitor economy cannot be underestimated. With approaching 30% of Island residents employed directly by this industry, and a further 20% in related services, tourism is the cornerstone of the Island’s economy. Those employed directly and indirectly by tourism then support other vital economic sectors and we at the Needles see the bid process as a proven mechanism to support the Island’s economic health.‘ 

The proposer of the WIGHT BID is the Island’s award winning destination management organisation Visit Isle of Wight, created by the Chamber of Commerce, Isle of Wight Council and leading Island businesses in 2012. Voting for the BID will also mean changes to the make-up of the board of directors and governance arrangements of Visit Isle of Wight to ensure that the organisation is truly representative of - and accountable to - all levy payers, both big and small. Levy payers will be regularly updated on how the BID is progressing and consulted as new plans are developed.

By voting yes for the WIGHT BID, businesses will be investing in a development programme that will:

  • Deliver real additional growth in first time and repeat visitors.
  • Work with levy payers to support the priorities of businesses on a local, regional and national level.
  • Combat competitor destination marketing to improve the Island’s appeal in the minds of prospective visitors.
  • Evaluate the costs of holidaying on the Island and recommend strategies and solutions to make the experience as affordable as possible.
  • Launch initiatives to encourage a warm welcome for all visitors, including those with special needs.


A Business Improvement District (or ‘BID’) is a defined area within which specific classes of business are required to jointly fund a programme of activities, agreed through a ballot of the levy payers, designed to deliver business growth and improve the trading environment in which they operate. BIDs were first introduced into the UK over a decade ago having operated elsewhere in the world for over 40 years. There are now over 240 programmes operating across the UK supported by thousands of businesses.

To read the full proposal document please click here

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