Blue Bermondsey BID Businesses Vote YES to Renewal Ballot
Blue Bermondsey BID’s second term began on on 1st October 2019 and we want businesses to keep communicating throughout our second term, to help shape and deliver new and existing projects and initiatives that benefit your business and the community.
The Blue Bermondsey BID renewal ballot
The BID board made up of local business owners asked eligible businesses to vote YES to the proposals for a further term. The proposals were developed by what businesses told us through pre-ballot consultation and are in accordance their requirements.
The renewal ballot was granted by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government and the local authority, after our consultation findings were sent to both for approval and thereafter conducted independently by the electoral reform services.
The achievements of our first term have proven that together, the collective voice of local business does make a massive difference, is capable of achieving much more and we pledge to continue being at the forefront of important and exciting projects that bring real benefits to our businesses, whilst improving the trading location.
The origins of Blue Bermondsey BID began in 1997, when a small group of business owners, centred around the Blue Market and shops began campaigning on behalf of local business. Their pioneering efforts led to funding for the Market place to get a make over and many small community events being held in the area.
In 2008 the group formally constituted as the Blue Bermondsey Business Association (BBBA) and took a more pro-active role on many initiatives, most notably securing £700,000 funding into the High Street. The BBBA led on the project, forming steering groups, engaging the wider business sector and local residents, which resulted in major regeneration works for the Blue Market and shop fronts. Works also included the restructuring of Southwark Park Rd to bring more flexibility to parking with loading bays and of course the iconic Bermondsey Lion, that now symbolises the area.
Following this first major milestone, the BBBA began to broaden its work and networking activities, which led to awareness of Business Improvement Districts (BID’s) and began to develop the concept of a ‘BID for the Blue’. Three years of extensive business consultation and engagement followed and in November 2012 a BID steering group was established to produce draft proposals.
In January 2013 a feasibility study was conducted with local businesses to gauge support for a BID ballot with the results indicating significant support and in May 2013 our findings and relevant data were forwarded to the authorities and approved. In May 2014 our BID proposal was circulated to eligible businesses, followed by the official ballot papers which asked a simple yes or no to the proposals. On the 4th July Blue Bermondsey BID is elected for its first five year term.
Our 2014 BID proposal outlined key areas of operation, in which we aimed to achieve:
Chiefly we wanted to provide services and projects to benefit local business, whilst also playing an active role in helping to improve our trading the environment by building a productive relationship with the local community and strategic agencies.
Working together we have:
Joined Safer Business Network to enable us to work closely with businesses, local Police and relative agencies to identify and address local business concerns and issues.
Provided cardboard recycling, discounted waste services and access to joint procurement on utilities to save businesses money.
Conducted a 2-year online area survey and 1 year vision and strategy, to collect data on local issues to find out more on what people want to see happening in the area.
Provided access to training and support through our partner organisations to assist local entrepreneurs in developing ideas.
Been actively involved with Southwark Council to lobby for businesses and give input to such things as developing their skills strategy and apprenticeship schemes.
Built a strong social media presence, highly raising the profile of the Blue, amassing thousands of followers, alongside our website, newsletters and press adverts.
Have been successful in attracting over 200k of additional funding for a range of projects and initiatives, through out first term.
Been awarded 2m from the Mayor of London; Good Growth Fund for Community Led regeneration project for the Blue.
Worked with a wide range of local stakeholders to establish a calendar of events, which alongside Blue Christmas and Bermondsey Folk Festival, have brought thousands of new visitors and more spend.
Initiated the Larder of London arts project which has delivered five arts projects to date illuminating previously grotty public spaces.
Worked with partner groups and the Council to establish Bermondsey Community Kitchen and Big Local Works training hub to the Blue.
Hosted many diverse business meetings and events for our member businesses.
Attended all relevant meetings with the owners of the Biscuit Factory, to help shape their plans.
Developed and produced plans for a total regeneration strategy for the area.
Produced vision and strategy plan which has led to 15 new stalls at the Saturday market and regular events.
Attended quarterly meetings with neighbouring London BIDs to work on joint projects, network and exchange ideas.
Joined Southwark BIDs and Business Forums to represent the interests of our businesses.
Worked with Southwark Council to develop a pilot lettings strategy in the area.
Attended all relevant Council meetings and have made many presentations on the work of the BID.
Established strong links with local tenants associations, community groups and partner organisations.
The regeneration of the Blue Market place is important as the heart of the high street, as a leisure option for local employees, and a draw for visitors. With the recent 2m awarded for community led regeneration programme, the BID, as a named partner, will be crucial in ensuring businesses have a strong input into making this a success.