So what is a Business Improvement District? The first were set up a decade ago - in 2004 - to revitatalise and regenerate commercial areas in towns and cities across the UK. From a modest start there are now scores of BIDS all over the country, working in partnership in many diverse areas but with one aim - to help the commercial area thrive.
We're in good company as some of the biggest cities in the UK have a BID scheme - from Bath to Birmingham, from Canterbury to Cornwall.
The BID is financed through a levy paid by businesses in the improvement area which means that they have vested interest in ensuring that we are successful in making Sunderland city centre a vibrant, exciting and safe place to visit.