A Business Improvement District (BID) is where businesses come together and decide what additional improvements they want to make to their town.

They decide what it will cost them, as well as how these improvements and projects will be managed and delivered. BIDs are funded by the businesses that benefit from them, and the money is ringfenced so it can only be spent in the BID area, and on projects that they have agreed to in the Business Plan.

Since BIDs were first introduced to the UK as part of a pilot scheme in 2005, more than 150 BIDs have successfully been established. The Guildford BID will last for 5 years, and after this town centre businesses must hold another ballot if they wish for a BID to continue.

Experience Guildford was successfully voted in by ballot in October 2012. All eligible businesses within the BID area were issued with ballot papers and simply asked whether they were in a favour of Guildford becoming a Business Improvement District. For the ballot to have been successful, two conditions had to be met – the first was that more than 50% of the businesses that voted had to be in favour in terms of number. The second condition was that of those that voted ‘yes’, they had to have a greater total Rateable Value than the businesses which voted no.

The result was 83% voting yes by number and 91% voting yes by Rateable Value.

We began our 2nd term in February 2018 having been voted back in again by the town centre businesses in November 2017 with a resounding yes vote!

Meet The Board of Directors

Claire Suggit

Claire Suggitt

Tunsgate Quarter, Chair of Experience Guildford

jane lyons

Jane Lyons

The Keep,
Deputy Chair

Andy Wood

Andy Wood

HSBC, Finance Committee Chair

Kevin Lorimer

The County Club

Tom Hunt

Tom Hunt

Guildford Borough Council

Jen Pentecost

Jen Pentecost

The Bear Garden

Ian Blyth

Ian Blyth

The Mandolay Hotel

Carolien Jones

The Mad Hatter

Ian Forward

Casino Nightclub

Gordon Jackson

Gordon Jackson


Russell Harvey

Metro Bank

Sally Anne Lowe

Yvonne Arnaud Theatre

Dawn Hudd

Guildford Borough Council

Yishuang Chen

T4 Tea

Amy Rice

Guildford Institute