A message from Chief Executive, Ruth Duston OBE,OC 

As another year draws to a close, I am reminded of the amazing work going on across London, through BIDs. Collective will is continuing to transform communities, set the agenda and drive the capital’s renaissance.

Across London HQ there have been many highlights, but I wanted to shine a light on just a few, and crucially thank the entire London HQ family, our partners, businesses, and wider stakeholders. London continues to face challenges – and opportunities – and BIDs are at the forefront of how the capital is responding. It’s a privilege to be working with so many committed and talented people, everyone working to ensure London remains the best city in the world to do business.
My Top Highlights of 2022:

  • A year of royal focus in London HQ, starting with our incredibly popular giant Corgi trail to mark the Platinum Jubilee, and then witnessing the incredible performance of the BIDs in responding to the tragic death of Her Late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. Working with partners to deliver ‘Operation London Bridge’ the team worked around the clock engaging with our business communities and visitors to keep the area safe, accessible, and welcoming. The BID team worked closely with partners including the Metropolitan Police and Westminster City Council to communicate verified information to our business community through email and our Victoria and Northbank Emergency Notification Systems. Across the period 25 updates were sent which included information on road closures and access procedures – we saw a 53% increase in users of the platform. Our Ambassadors played an important role in supporting the huge number of mourners who visited the area, having thousands of interactions with members of the public over just a few days. Ambassadors in Victoria had over 7,103 interactions, +235% on the previous 12 days and Northbank Ambassadors had 2,111 interactions, +256%. Our Ambassadors also distributed walking maps to stewarding staff, military personnel and police officers to help their engagement with the public. 1,500 maps were distributed in Northbank and 3,000 in Victoria, Westminster and Whitehall.
  • BIDs across the capital are now front and centre when it comes to delivering activity to drive the Destination Marketing agenda. This work is especially notable with seasonal campaigns in the summer and crucially at Christmas. Across London HQ it was wonderful to see the festive lights, trees, and events taking place over the last few weeks.
  • I am hugely proud of what we have achieved at Strand Aldwych. Transforming the Strand Aldwych has been something talked about for more than 30 years, but for various reasons the project was put in the ‘too difficult’ box and never progressed. To see how collective will has moved into collective action, driven by the efforts of the BID working in partnership with Westminster and other key stakeholders, is incredibly rewarding and demonstrates the powerful force for good that BIDs can be. Over the last decade, the BID has invested around £1m, being the catalyst for the significant capital investment made by Westminster City Council. Discover more about Strand Aldwych here.

2023 will be busy and not without its fair share of uncertainty, not least with the ongoing industrial dispute that I hope gets resolved as soon as possible, but I believe in this city’s resilience and ability to adapt and grow. I hope you all enjoy the festive break with friends, family and loved ones, and wish everyone health and happiness for the new year.

Severe Weather Emergency Protocol

The Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) has been activated due to the decrease in overnight temperatures recently, which gives rough sleepers access to emergency cold weather accommodation.

If you are concerned about an individual in the area the best way to help is to talk to them and make a referral to Streetlink, finding out their name and any other information if possible.

Your referral will then be picked up by Outreach teams who will go and visit the individual and begin to help them.

You can also get in touch with the BIDs’ Community Intervention Team, if you are worried about an individual, by phoning the team on 0207 592 1851 or emailing: communityinterventionteam@passage.org.uk.

Medical Responders

To coincide with Christmas and the Met police and BTP focus on Violence Against Women and Girls, the London HQ BIDs will support Charing Cross and Victoria Station with medical responders.

The responders will work 6 days a week starting at 5 pm and finishing at 1:30 am.  They will cover the concourse and outside perimeter in both areas. In Charing Cross, they will also cover Villiers Street and Embankment Station as our security teams have helped a number of vulnerable females there in recent weeks.

There will be 3 responders based at each station throughout December, who will carry a Network Rail radio to enable them to get to patients quickly. 1 of the responders will be found in the medical room of the stations.

The medical responders will work closely with the Night Stars on a Friday night and It will also ease pressure on LAS at a busy time of year with party season in full swing.