Resounding ‘yes’ vote for two Business Improvement Districts
Published: Friday 2nd December 16
Putney and Wandsworth Town centres will both become Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) in April next year after local firms voted through ambitious plans to boost trade and tackle key local issues.
Eligible businesses in each town centre were asked to vote on whether to implement wide-ranging business plans for their BID areas, which will be funded by the businesses themselves through a modest levy.
For the Putney BID, the result was 75 per cent in favour. In Wandsworth Town 73 per cent voted yes.
Wandsworth Council business spokesperson Kim Caddy said: “This is a great result for Wandsworth and Putney Town centres. Local businesses will now have more influence over the trading environment they know so well and will be better placed to respond to challenges and opportunities in the years ahead.
“I look forward to working with them and to seeing businesses in both areas reap the rewards as their ambitious plans come into action.”
Steve Pinto, CEO at the Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce, said: “Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce is delighted to see a successful outcome to Wandsworth BID ballot.
"We are strong advocates for this BID and look forward in continuing to be a strong voice for local businesses. Our aim is to ensure business interests are always at the forefront, as opportunities develop for Wandsworth Town.”
The business plans for each BID were developed through months of consultation and engagement with the affected traders.
For Wandsworth Town, the BID will focus on:
- Building the town’s identity and distinctiveness
- Raising awareness of what the town has on offer, including an online presence and full events calendar
- Enhancing the town centre experience for shoppers, visitors and workers
- Creating stronger connections between businesses and the local communities
- Representing business needs with a stronger, shared voice
The Putney BID will aim to:
- Enhance the town centre’s reputation as a welcoming and accessible place to shop, visit and work
- Create a safer and cleaner town centre
- Bring Putney businesses together to help reduce costs and act as an effective lobbying body
The town centres can expect to benefit financially, with up to £1.4m be generated across five years in Putney, and over £1m in Wandsworth town. This will help the centres boost business levels and adapt to an increasingly competitive retail environment.
Over coming weeks new BID companies will be developed to deliver the plans, led by representatives from the local business community. The BIDs will become operational on 1 April and businesses within both town centres will be encouraged to play an active part in guiding the BIDs through their advisory groups or on their boards.