London Bridge businesses expand their Business Improvement District and put planning, transport, economy and environment at the top of their agenda.
The five year plan to continue and expand the Business Improvement District (BID) in the area between London Bridge and Tower Bridge in north Southwark has been given a strong seal of approval in a local business referendum. The new London Bridge BID area encompasses Guy’s Hospital and King’s College London’s Guy’s Campus, making the natural connection between this historic and important medical community and the riverside business district.
In doing so, the business community has chosen to pursue a vision of ensuring London Bridge excels as a leading place for global commerce and continues to develop as a pioneering local centre for enterprise, culture, and entertainment.
In 2005, organisations within the London Bridge BID boundary first voted to make contributions towards a fund which would pay for extra local services and projects for a period of five years. Team London Bridge, an independent, not-for-profit, business-led organisation, was set up to manage the fund from April 2006 to March 2016. With the second five year term coming to an end a new ballot was required to determine the future of this business-led community model.
Between 24th September and 29th October 2015, a total of 255 votes were cast with 89.1% of businesses by number and 95.5% of businesses by rateable voting in favour to continue Team London Bridge’s highly valued services through to 2021.
Over the past 10 years the business-led Board of Team London Bridge and Executive Team have delivered key services. These comprise functions most associated with BIDs such as extra cleaning, security and area promotion, as well as place shaping projects including the delivery of pocket parks, secret gardens, and greening the public realm. All of these will now continue.
The current business community has a long-term commitment to London Bridge and therefore want their BID to have a major say in how the area continues to evolve. They have asked that Team London Bridge becomes more active in the planning process and can represent them when big local and national decisions are made, especially on the key issues of transport and environment.
Team London Bridge will work with Southwark Council to incorporate the business agenda into their planning framework. A ‘London Bridge Plan’ is being developed, bringing together business interests under principles of Identity, Economy, Connectivity, Character and Design, Public Realm and Partnerships. The key issues identified by businesses during consultation were improving the retail offer, regenerating the historic railway viaduct area, increasing the office space quota, and improving the environment for cyclists and pedestrians.
Nadia Broccardo, Executive Director of Team London Bridge said, ‘The Team and Board have worked hard delivering high quality, impactful projects for the business community over the past 10 years. In our next term we will continue this good work while expanding our areas of influence to represent our businesses better in areas that matter most to them’.
James Dinwiddie, Team London Bridge Chair and Director of Dinwiddie McLaren Architects based on Snowsfields added, ‘It’s great news that London Bridge businesses have voted so decisively to renew their Business Improvement District (BID). Ten years ago Team London Bridge was starting out and businesses gave their support based mainly upon hope. Today businesses have voted yes in even greater numbers, and this time it’s based on a track record of results. With large scale developments still in the pipeline, the benefits of investing in the localised services that TLB offers will be more important than ever.’
Of the 40+ BIDs in London over 20 have now been renewed since the regulations came into force in September 2004, proving that businesses strongly back the BID model to deliver projects and services that matter.