Mayor celebrates London's 50th Business Improvement District

04 March 2016

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has achieved a target to support 50 Business Improvement Districts which have contributed more than £25 million to regenerate town centres and industrial sites across the capital.

Since 2012, in excess of 60,000 firms in London have clubbed together to invest millions in Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), which give local businesses a vote to collectively contribute to improve services, boost trading conditions and enhance their towns and public areas.

Local businesses sit on the board of each BID and decide where to allocate funding, which includes measures such as improving pedestrian routes and cycle paths, business support, lobbying and security staff to protect shops and restaurants.

The Mayor strongly supports BIDs and their role in the place shaping of town centres and industrial centres and made a commitment to support the creation of 50 improvement districts across the capital before May. City Hall convenes regular network meetings, showcasing BID work, to support businesses and encourages them to bid for resources from the likes of Transport for London and the Mayor’s High Street Fund.

He also signed off £660,000 of funding from the London Enterprise Panel, which was allocated to 12 BIDs.

Research commissioned by the Mayor at the end of last year across 36 successful BIDs in London, revealed the number of firms in BID areas increased by 89 per cent from 32,250 in 2012 to 60,980 in 2014, while the number of people employed has risen from just under 500,000 to 905,250 employed by some 61,000 firms of all shapes and sizes spanning right across the city.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson MP, said: “It is clear to see that Business Improvement Districts provide a stronger voice for firms to support the changes they want in their town centres and that is why I made it a manifesto commitment to ensure 50 new ones sprouted up across the city during this term.
“BIDs have played a key part in the regeneration of town centres and industrial estates and they continue to boost growth and help drive London’s economy.”

The Mayor achieved a manifesto pledge when Euston, which is looking to maximise the regeneration potential of the area and take advantage of future transport projects such as Crossrail and HS2, became the 50th BID in the capital last week.

Simon Pitkeathley, Chief Executive of Camden Town Unlimited, said: “The growth of BIDs in London, from humble beginnings some 10 years ago, to this symbolic figure of 50, is a really interesting shift in the landscape of how London operates and is governed. It would not have been possible without the support of the Mayor of London and it will be really interesting to see how things play out in the coming years.”

Helen Clark-Bell of the Love Wimbledon BID, which consists of 420 businesses in the area, said: “Love Wimbledon are delighted that Business Improvement Districts are growing in number and starting to reach a critical mass. BIDs are such a powerful tool for revitalising areas and particularly with local authority budget cuts and the changing nature of retail, having a positive impetus to bring dynamic events and activities along with business focussed projects into the town are very welcome additions to the local economy.”

Notes to editors

Please find attached a map of BIDs across London

- The London Enterprise Panel (LEP) is the local enterprise partnership for London. Chaired by the Mayor, the LEP is the body through which the Mayoralty works with London's boroughs, business and Transport for London to take a strategic view of the regeneration, employment and skills agenda for London. The LEP is responsible for overseeing the allocation of over £400m of funding to drive jobs and growth in the capital and provides strategic oversight of London’s €1.5 billion European Structural & Investment Funds programme.