Local Town Centres Look To Boost Funds And Trade

Putney and Wandsworth consider forming Business Improvement Districts

Local businesses in Putney and Wandsworth Town centres are considering plans to form new Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) which would raise money to enhance the local environment and boost trade.

Businesses in the defined ‘BID’ areas are now shaping their town centre business plans through an on-going consultation process. Rate-paying businesses will then vote on adoption of the plans and the contribution of a small levy to fund its delivery.

According to the Government website a BID is a defined area in which a levy is charged on all business rate payers in addition to the business rates bill. This levy is used to develop projects which will benefit businesses in the local area.'

Local firms can comment on the proposals until 22 August, after which the business plans will be finalised. Businesses will be asked to vote in a legally-binding ballot between 4 November and 1 December to determine whether the BIDs go ahead.

Wandsworth Council business spokesman Kim Caddy explains more: “There are currently around 50 BIDs in London and the number is growing. They give business communities a strong voice and focus on tackling the core issues affecting local trade in a way that wouldn’t otherwise be achievable”

“The draft business plans for Putney and Wandsworth Town include very positive proposals, identified through consultation with businesses, like town centre marketing campaigns and investing in additional street cleaning and measures to address parking and crime. These initiatives would all be in addition to the existing public services provided by the council, police and other local partners.”

Businesses have led the development of the plans through consultation events and surveys. The proposed Putney BID would raise £1.3m over five years. In Wandsworth Town £970,000 would be raised over the same period. Businesses would pay into the BID according to their size, with some smaller firms being exempt and a cap being applied.

August 16, 2016