Mayor honours Business Improvement Districts at first annual awards event

15 December 2010

Safer cycling projects, career advice for youngsters and free recycling services are among the innovative schemes recognised at the first Mayor of London Business Improvement District (BIDs) Awards on Monday, 13 December. 

BIDs encourage companies in distinct areas to make contributions towards a fund which then pays for extra local services and projects. They have continued to transform commercial areas across London despite the economic downturn, invigorating trade and establishing vibrant hubs of business activity.

The awards, held at City Hall today, were organised by London BIDs in partnership with the Greater London Authority (GLA) and London Development Agency (LDA), with the aim of championing BIDs in London and celebrating their achievements in the five years since the first BID was established.

A panel of judges - chaired by the Mayor’s policy director for economic development Anthony Browne, and including Greg Clark, the Chairman of British BIDs, and Tim Campbell, founder of the Bright Ideas Trust and the Mayor’s Ambassador for Training and Enterprise - whittled down the winners from London’s 23 established BIDs to recognise those  which have made the greatest impact to their area.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “The diverse range of schemes honoured with these awards really goes to show just how innovative London’s BIDs have become in only five years, with huge benefits to businesses, customers and Londoners. In these difficult times it is fantastic to see that businesses, large and small alike, are still keen to invest in their local areas and are actively helping to make the capital safer and more prosperous."

The winners are as follows: 

Best Partnership Award - Better Bankside
Judges described the BID as “a very innovative project, delivered at no cost”, which had a breadth of benefits. These included a safety initiative for cyclists and HGV drivers, with workshops aimed at educating drivers and bikers about how to negotiate road works and construction traffic hazards in the area. The scheme led to a reduction in accidents. 

Best Value Award – Inmidtown
The BID was selected for its innovative Zero to Landfill scheme, a pilot which provided free recycling services to businesses. The judges said: “The project has yielded excellent impact and significant output at no cost”.

Community Award - Better Bankside
An events academy, organised through Better Bankside, gave four local young people the opportunity to create their own businesses. Firms in the BID gave mentoring and career support. The BID started with 30 participating businesses, which has trebled to 90 in just a year.

Place-Making Award - New West End Company (NWEC)
London’s largest BID was rewarded for its internationally-recognised VIP Day, when Oxford and Regent Streets are closed to traffic for one day. The judges said the VIP Day “has helped to revitalize the west end, especially after the economic downturn. The initiative represents a significant return on investment and is well-received by businesses and shoppers alike.” 

London BID of the Year Award - Team London Bridge
Team London Bridge’s partnership with Southwark Police has brought some 35 hours of extra policing per week and the area has been classified as London's first “Community Security Zone" (CSZ) by the Metropolitan Police. Its successful Building Bridges community programme has created volunteering projects, a youth theatre and a Christmas gift initiative. The judges said the BID was recognised for its “efforts to make the area much safer and a better place to do business”.

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS
1) Today’s judging panel was made up of:

Chair - Anthony Browne - GLA 
Baroness Jo Valentine – Chief Executive, London First
Greg Clark – Chairman, British BIDs
Tim Campbell – Founder, Bright Ideas Trust
Danny Reardon – Head of Corporate Affairs (London and South region) Barclays Bank
Danny Lopez – Group Director, LDA

2) London has established 23 formal BIDs in five years. Six other areas are in the process of developing new BIDs - Bexleyheath, Harrow, Park Royal, Sutton, Vauxhall and Wimbledon. 

3) The capital’s bids have enjoyed a 100 per cent ballot success record (including renewals). Earlier this year, two well-established BIDs successfully renewed their ballots with an 86 per cent success rate.

4) London’s largest BID (NWEC), established 5 years ago, has already generated a total levy revenue of £2.5m.  

5) The Mayor and the GLA Group are extremely supportive of BIDs in London. Through the LDA, the pre-ballot development of 16 of the 23 BIDs in London has been funded, as has the set-up costs for BIDs in industrial estates. Transport for London (TfL) regularly consults with BIDs on a number of issues, including expertise and advice on transport and public realm schemes, including the London Cycle Hire Scheme. 

6) Late last year, BIDs developed a Manifesto on GLA Group support. There are now designated lead BIDs officers in the GLA, LDA, TfL and the Met Police giving BIDs greater access to the GLA family. The Mayor wrote to local authority leaders in March to encourage collaborative working between BIDs and their respective local authorities. 

7) Further information on BIDs can be found at: www.londonbids.co.uk  

Media enquiries: please call Elizabeth Lee at the Mayor’s Press Office on 020 7983 4713 or email economicdesk@london.gov.uk. Number not for publication. 

For out of hours media enquiries please call 020 7983 4000. For non-media enquiries please call the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100.