Renewal Ballot 2018-2023 Central Business Improvement District

Business Plan

We are delighted to present the final Business Plan for the Essential Edinburgh renewal ballot 2018. Following extensive consultation with our BID businesses we have produced a robust and exciting plan for the next five year term of Essential Edinburgh.

We’ve reframed our objectives for the next term to more clearly express what we do; our commitment to practical actions that will Protect and Enhance the BID, Promote our area and Engage effectively with local government and other partners on your behalf.

We hope that you will find this business plan an engaging read; that you will see in it responses to the suggestions, priorities and requests generated during our consultation – and that you will vote Yes to allow your BID to continue for a third term as a partner and champion for your business.

What happens next?

On 12th April the eligible voters for every businesses within the Essential Edinburgh BID received their ballot paper(s). Alongside the ballot paper we again provided the Business Plan as this is what each business will base their votes upon.

The vote is a postal ballot with a closing date of 24th May 2018 (5pm). If at this time over 50% of businesses by number AND total rateable value vote in favour Essential Edinburgh, will continue for another 5 year term, delivering the projects and initiatives within this Business Plan. If the vote is returned and is not in favour, all projects, initiatives, events, support and activities will cease on 30th June 2018.

If you wish to see Essential Edinburgh continue to support city centre businesses to thrive, we encourage you to join the discussions and show your support using #BackYourBID on social media.

What Matters Most?


Improved way finding throughout the city centre


Additional policing resources in the city centre


Animation and management of public space during the Festival periods


Address the issues caused by begging and homelessness by supporting a co-ordinated cross sector initiative


A city centre marketing campaign focussed specifically on showcasing our area


Maintain a clean and attractive city centre with increased cleaning services and high quality city dressing

31st May 2017

Draft Business Plan, for consultation, published

14th November 2017

Essential Edinburgh AGM – Royal Society of Edinburgh

21st March 2018

Expect your Ballot notification (by post) and a copy of the Essential Edinburgh Business Plan 2018 -2023

12th April 2018

Your pink renewal ballot paper will be issued and the postal ballot begins

14th May 2018

Last day to appoint a proxy

15th May 2018

First day that replacement ballot papers for LOST ballot papers can be requested

24th May 2018

Ballot closing date – Deadline for returned ballot papers by 5pm

29th May 2018

Ballot result announcement


  • Voting

    Ballot papers, together with a copy of the Essential Edinburgh Business Plan 2018 – 2023, will be posted to the eligible person responsible for casting a vote within their business. In the case of national companies the responsibility for voting may lie with head office.

    The BID ballot is a confidential postal ballot conducted by the City of Edinburgh Council on behalf of the Essential Edinburgh and in accordance with Scottish BID legislation.

    Voting papers are easy to complete, simply place a cross on either “yes” or “no” to the question “are you in favour of a Business Improvement District?” The ballot paper must then be signed by the person eligible to vote and returned in the pre-paid envelope.

    The final date for all ballot papers to be returned is 5pm on 24th May 2018. Papers received after this date and time will be deemed null and void.

  • Who can vote in the BID Ballot?

    All persons eligible to vote in the ballot will be those who, as at 21st March 2018, are liable for non-domestic rates within the geographical area of the Essential Edinburgh BID. Where a person is liable for the non-domestic rates of more than one property, that individual shall be eligible to cast more than one vote but will be required to pay the levy for each of the properties that they occupy.

  • Appointment of a Proxy

    Persons eligible to vote in the BID ballot may appoint someone else to vote on their behalf (for example, if you are going to be away at the time of the ballot or would like the vote to be at a local level rather than Head Office).

    Applications to appoint a proxy must be submitted to the City of Edinburgh Council no later than 5pm on Monday 14 May 2018. An application for the appointment of a proxy must be made in writing and:

    a) state the full name and address of the person whom the person entitled to vote (the applicant) wishes to appoint as a proxy;
    b) state the address of the applicant’s hereditament or hereditaments;
    c) be signed by the applicant; and
    d) contain a statement by the applicant that the proxy so named has been consulted and is capable and willing to be appointed.

    A proxy appointment may be cancelled by notifying the City of Edinburgh Council no later than 5pm on Saturday 19 May 2018.

  • Lost Ballot Papers

    If a ballot paper has not been received by Tuesday 15 May 2018 you may apply for a replacement paper in writing. It must be on the appropriate headed paper, and be signed by the person entitled to vote. The address and where possible the Unique Property Reference Number (UPRN) should be clearly stated, along with a request for a replacement ballot paper.

  • Spoilt Ballot Papers

    If you inadvertently spoil your ballot paper in such a manner that it cannot be conveniently used as a ballot paper, please return it to the City of Edinburgh Council.

    On receipt of the spoilt ballot paper, the City of Edinburgh Council will issue a replacement. No replacements can be issued if the spoilt ballot paper is received later than three working days before the day of the ballot – Monday 21 May 2018.

  • Rejected Ballot Papers

    If a ballot paper is duplicated and two are returned bearing the same number or barcode both will be void and not counted. Any ballot papers that are returned unsigned, unmarked or that are void for uncertainty will also be void and not counted.

  • Ballot enquiries

    For further information about the 2018-2023 Essential Edinburgh BID Renewal Ballot process, please email or call 0131 220 8580.

Eligible Voters

Who can be the eligible voter?

The eligible voter must have the authority to vote on behalf of the business. Usually the eligible voter for a business within a BID will be an Office or Store Manager,  Area or  Finance Manager, Director or another position of authority. An eligible voter can also appoint a proxy to vote on their behalf (see FAQs above).

If you are unsure who the eligible voter for your business should be, please get in touch with us and we can offer guidance.

If you have any queries about the Central Business Improvement District, the renewal ballot or would like more information please email us on


Are you the eligible voter for your business? – if no, who is the eligible voter?

Based on the Draft Business Plan please select one of the following options relating to how you are likely to vote next year

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