What is Sligo BID

Sligo BID is a Business Improvement District in Sligo town. BIDs improve the trading performance within specific geographic locations by improving the commercial environment and proactively marketing the district.

Legislation for Sligo BID, the fourth BID in Ireland, was passed in 2006.  The proposed plan for the area was endorsed in November 2015 and operations began in March 2016.  The BID operates under a 5 year mandate to develop and promote the economic advancement of Sligo Town until 2021. The BID was voted in by 68.99% yes vote with a 54% voting participation by ratepayers. Our goal is to position Sligo as the location of choice for shopping, leisure and business.  Sligo BID works on behalf of the 758 businesses in the area to create an attractive, welcoming, vibrant and economic successful space for Sligo Town with a budget of approx. €270,000 per annum.

Can I put forward ideas or suggest projects?

Yes, Sligo BID encourage all members to submit ideas, proposals or changes that they would like to see in this business improvement district. For further information please contact Gail at gail@sligobid.ie

How can I get involved?

As a Sligo BID member, you are entitled to participate in all programmes, initiatives and events being organised by Sligo BID.  We welcome opportunities to work with our members in any way possible. We are also interested in speaking with organisations or individuals who would like to partner with us.  If you would like to get involved in any of our initiatives or require any more information, please contact Gail at gail@sligobid.ie


Sligo Purple Flag Team (Evening and Night Time Economy)

St Patrick’s Day Parade Committee

Sligo Christmas Lights Switch on

Tourism Industry Trade Shows

Sligo Tidy Towns

How does a BID form?

  • Businesses will identify the area and the issues affecting it and put together a proposal which should include delivery guarantees, performance indicators and management structure.
  • Business Improvement District proposals are voted on by the non-domestic rate payers who will be responsible for paying the BID levy. Businesses must vote in favour of becoming a Business Improvement District in order for it to be established.
  • The vote is carried out via postal ballot conducted by the local authority.
  • A Business Improvement District’s mandate is for a maximum of 5 years.
    A Business Improvement District wishing to continue beyond 5 years must reaffirm their mandate through another ballot, based on a further proposal.

How is Sligo BID funded?

As agreed in the original ballot voted in by the majority of businesses in the Sligo Town area, Sligo BID is funded by its members. Each member pays a levy which in turn is pooled and used to fund the range of schemes and projects that Sligo BID organises on behalf of its members. Sligo BID can also access additional funding streams such as the Leader programme, Failte Ireland or local authority grants.

Why are Business Improvement Districts needed?

Business Improvement Districts support the long-term sustainability of town and city centres. This support is needed because town and city centres have been under increasing pressure since the development of out of town shopping centres and the over-provision of retail space in suburbs as well as changes in shopping habits with the rapid rise of online retail and mobile commerce.  Business Improvement Districts enable town and city centres to approach the management of the trading environment / public space in a proactive and planned way which allows them gain and retain competitive advantage over the managed environment of shopping centres.  Business Improvement Districts provide funding for the functions of town centre management, e.g. festivals and events, trade shows, marketing, Christmas lights, and ensure that everyone who benefits from these services share the cost. They also provide equality in ensuring that everyone who benefits shares the cost.

Business Improvement Districts are about joined-up thinking.  The collective voice of a specific area is louder than several small voices.  By bringing businesses within the area together, we can represent the needs of the town centre.

Can businesses opt out the BID?

All businesses situated within the Sligo town area are automatically members of Sligo BID as a result of the vote taken in 2016. The Business Improvement District scheme will re ballot again in March 2021.

What is a BID or a Business Improvement District?

A BID or Business Improvement District is a business-led and business-funded body formed to improve a defined commercial geographic area. The concept of BIDS (Business Improvement District Schemes) originated in North America in the 1970s and they have been in existence in the UK since 2003 as a proven mechanism for effective town centre management.

BIDS are formed following consultation with businesses in a defined area. After this process a ballot takes place in which businesses vote on a proposal or business plan for their area based on the developmental requirements of the area as well as the needs and wants of the businesses contained within it.