An Effective Voice For Local Business
The first Business Improvement District (BID) in the UK was established in 2005 and there are now over 290 in operation across the UK and Ireland, with numbers growing year on year. Each BID is set up after a ballot businesses in the defined BID area, and is funded by a small levy on those businesses. The amounts raised by the individual BID levies in the varied locations across the country, range from a little as £55,000 up to £2.7 million per year. The huge difference at the opposite ends of the income scale means that the operations and objectives of individual BID’s has to be appropriate to the location, and funding for different projects and services prioritised to give member businesses beneficial and lasting results for their contribution.
Each BID term lasts for five years and must go to a re-ballot, giving businesses the opportunity to vote for or against a further five year BID term. Therefore the success or failure of the BID term and its operations are judged at re-ballot.
There is no doubt that the benefits of a BID for businesses are extremely varied – from making an area safer and more secure, improving the way it looks and feels, to building strong links with the local community and local council.
There are five BID’s in Southwark and it was by discovering how their work has been vastly instrumental in regenerating the locations, to bring positive change and long term benefits to their businesses, that inspired the idea of a Business Improvement District in the heart of Bermondsey. We meet regularly at the Southwark BID forum with our more illustrious neighbouring BIDs to exchange ideas and work together with the Council and relative agencies to better benefit our members interests.
Better Bankside is one of the most successful and innovative BID’s in the country and the first in Southwark, beginning its work in 2005. Their efforts have transformed this once run down and forgotten corner of the capital to become a major destination for visitors and investors from across the world. They have delivered groundbreaking initiatives for their member businesses and the local community.
This historic district is now a vibrant and attractive location thanks to Team London Bridge. One benefit of the area’s BID is that all local businesses have been consulted on the recent expansion and redevelopment of London Bridge station and have achieved award-winning status for their ‘pocket parks ‘and attractive plantings. The area has experienced unprecedented change in recent times and Team London Bridge BID have embraced and helped to shape the change for the better.
Waterloo has been enjoying the benefits of reviving the area’s food culture with its own food festival and an initiative to encourage people who work in the area to eat their lunch in the space too. In October 2012, the BID took on the management of Lower Marsh Market from the Council and have been working to encourage new traders and new visitors to the market and have initiated an ‘Introduction to Street Trading’ course to inspire the next generation of stallholders.
South Bank is home to great national centres for art and culture, a vibrant and growing community and some of London’s finest achievements in architecture, such as the National Theatre, Southbank Centre and London Eye. South Bank BID was set up in 2014 by South Bank Employers’ Group and dedicated to providing a strong voice for the 180 local businesses and providing additional resources to help make South Bank a safer, cleaner and more vibrant destination, for the benefit of visitors, employees, and residents.
The Southwark BID Map
South Bank(Grey) – We Are Waterloo (Green) – Better Bankside (Pink) – Team London Bridge (Green) – Blue Bermondsey (Blue)