Destination CQ represents the Cathedral Quarter Business Improvement District (BID).


Destination CQ Business Improvement District (BID) was established amongst the business community in Cathedral Quarter & Smithfield in Oct 2016 with a focus on delivering specific improvements needed by local businesses and organisations throughout the area.

The BID is a local, democratically established organisation, paid for through a levy which applies to all businesses with a rateable value above £1,499. The company is governed by a Board of Directors representing different local business sectors and supported by a range of working groups.

BIDs invest in and deliver projects to improve the local trading environment, drive down business costs and raise the area’s profile. Our vision is to further develop the unique Cathedral Quarter area as a great destination for
tourism, culture, creativity, innovation, and business.


Our Vision

Throughout its 5-year term Cathedral Quarter BID will carry out various projects to enhance the area through 4 themes that make up our vision:


Enhancing the trading environment through BID-supported initiatives and pilot projects.

Clients, visitors, audiences and employees are attracted to places that are vibrant, interesting, safe, clean, and easily accessible. Beyond the basic management, policing, upkeep and cleansing of the public spaces and footpaths covered by business rates, the BID will leverage its resources to enhance the trading environment through new initiatives and projects.


Making the most of our cultural assets.

You told us you value Cathedral Quarter’s cultural assets and identity as important to your business and your city. Cathedral Quarter’s venues, galleries, museums, artists and creative organisations are central to its identity as Belfast’s cultural quarter and drive the creative and cultural economy of the area. The knock-on effect for hospitality, tourism education and other business is significant. However, as we know, our cultural core is particularly vulnerable to budget cuts and rising costs.

We want to ensure Cathedral Quarter’s cultural offering is as robust as it is distinctive.


Encouraging broad participation through branding, marketing and promotion, and an understanding of the range of target markets including local communities and visitors.

We have many great stories to tell. A robust marketing and communication strategy will showcase and focus on Cathedral Quarter’s cultural, retail, leisure and commercial assets.


Support stakeholders through collective purchasing, advocacy, investment and stimulation of growth

Create a strong alliance amongst stakeholders to propel the CQ BID area to its next stage of development.


Levy FAQ


BID projects are funded by raising finance, principally, through a levy. This levy is an investment by businesses within the Destination CQ BID area. The total revenue to be raised from the BID levy over its 5-year term is £1.7m. The levy is payable by all non-domestic properties within the BID area that are listed on the Local Non-Domestic Rating List with a rateable value of £1,500 and above as received from Land and Property Services NI.


The annual BID levy is set at 1.5% of the Rateable Value of each eligible property (hereditament) as set out in the Local Non-Domestic Rating List for that financial year.

To calculate your annual BID Levy based on a 1.5% charge divide your rateable value (RV) by 100 and multiply by 1.5. For example:

Rateable Value Calculation BID Levy £1,500 £1,500 / 100 x 1.5 £22.50 .


The BID levy will be collected by the Billing Body, Belfast City Council, on behalf of Destination CQ BID. Levy bills will be issued to Destination CQ Stakeholders in October each year.


Under BID legislation, all businesses and organisations within the defined BID area will be under an obligation to pay the levy each year for five years. Collection of the BID levy carries the same enforcement weight as collection of the non-domestic rates.

How do we spend your money?

In the previous year we spent

£45,250 – Creating a Safe & Secure place to work and socialise.

£54,669 – Making CQ Clean & Attractive.

£46,733 – Delivering vibrant Marketing & Promotional Campaigns.               

£49,300 – Supporting local Festivals & Events.

£36,499 – Investing in Training & Staff Development for our members.

Total £310,000 per annum

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