The Development Director of HammersmithLondon – the local BID – has given an interview focussed on the BID’s achievements over its five year existence.
The Business Improvement District was voted in by the local business community just under five years ago, and now is approaching the end of its term. There will be a review, and businesses will be given a chance to vote for a further five year term in the first half of 2011.
Patricia Bench told the Fulham & Hammersmith Chronicle the the BID “is about giving people a reason to visit Hammersmith town centre and once they are there to stay there. It is a simple formula and we want to make the place feel more energised and attractive. We want people to come here and spend money locally.”
They have organised a summer “festival” in Lyric Square, with a big screen showing sports events and movies, and an “urban beach“. As Bench says, many of the members of the BID are employers, and want a more attractive environment for their workers at lunchtime and in evenings.
Bench says the BID’s success is marked by the low level of retail voids in Hammersmith, despite Westfield opening during the five-year term, and by the high level of occupancy of office space in the town centre.
And while his comments may not entirely chime with Bench’s over occupancy, Simon Hesketh from Development Securities recently suggested Hammersmith’s time as an office location was coming, and that rents would begin to rise for quality space in the town centre.