London’s latest Business Improvement District (BID) is set to be located in one of the most globally significant political locations after local businesses showed overwhelming support for the development of a Whitehall BID
Following a ballot, 95% of local businesses voted ‘yes’ which saw them endorse the creation of a new BID in Whitehall to provide the local business community with a strong voice to drive change, innovation and stimulate additional investment into the area.
The development of a Whitehall BID was proposed by the Victoria Westminster BID – a collective of businesses committed to working together to improve the local area. The new Whitehall BID will operate as a sister BID, to benefit from shared resources and the expertise of other South Westminster BIDs. Today’s successful ballot result has seen the establishment of London’s 67th BID, and is a promising indication of the growing role that BIDs are playing in London’s ongoing development.
It is envisaged that through collective partnerships* the Whitehall BID will help drive more than £600,000 of investment across a range of strategic projects over the next two years. This investment will ensure the local area becomes a better place to live, work and visit.
Despite being one of the most iconic and respected locations on the global stage, Whitehall has long suffered from having poor public realm, insufficient pedestrian connectivity and inadequate signage. The overwhelming support for the creation of the Whitehall BID has revealed that local businesses are calling for greater investment in the area, which is underpinned by a powerful business alliance, and a unified vision in setting out a blueprint for improving the local area.
The impact of the pandemic over the last year has highlighted the significant benefits of businesses and communities coming together. By supporting one another, BIDs across the UK have helped local economies survive and start to rebuild, and now more than ever their collective efforts are needed. The newly created Whitehall BID will provide a collective voice for the local business community whilst ensuring that each sector’s commercial drivers and challenges are understood*
Ruth Duston OBE OC, Chief Executive of Victoria Westminster BID said:
“While Whitehall has become a national symbol for history and politics, there is so much more that makes up the local ecosystem. It has been encouraging to see that 95% of the local business community have shown their support for the creation of a new BID in Whitehall.
“BIDs are powerful driving forces in providing businesses with a strong voice and ability to make change happen. We have already heard from the local community on what they have identified as their top priorities and I look forward to acting on our plan to help Whitehall discover its full potential.”
The BID’s work across Whitehall will build on priority areas that the business community in neighbouring Victoria Westminster identified and will allow for additional gains, cost savings and a coherent approach to the South Westminster area. Five priorities themes were identified, which are:
- Public Realm
- Clean & Green
- Destination Whitehall
- Safe & Secure
- Sustainable Prosperity
Programmes and projects will be delivered under each of these headings over an initial two-year term*. Priority projects include the development of a public realm strategy, improved signage, additional street cleansing, and more marketing and promotion of the area’s historic and cultural venues.
Deputy Mayor for Business, Rajesh Agrawal, said:
“Business Improvement Districts make an enormous contribution to supporting the business ecosystem in local areas across London – something which is even more important than ever in the wake of the economic upheaval caused by the pandemic. I look forward to seeing the value the new Whitehall BID will add to businesses in the area.”
*Please could we have some more information on which partnerships will be made (eg. Other business groups, BIDs etc.)
*Taken from proposal: “The term will be 2 years as this BID will “go live” on 1 April 2021 and run until 31 March 2023.”