Wandsworth BID votes imminent

Businesses in Putney and Wandsworth Town centres will begin voting next week on whether to form new Business Improvement Districts (BIDs).

Businesses have worked together to develop detailed business plans for the BID areas and firms with a rateable value of at least £10,000 will be asked to vote on whether or not to put them into action.

The ballot opens 4 November and closes 1 December.

If voted through, BID companies and boards would be formed to deliver the business plans and to take the lead in identifying and responding to local issues. The hope would be that the move would help each town centre become more self sufficient, more competitive and able to adapt to changing retail patterns.

The BIDs would be funded by a levy on the businesses who vote. The Wandsworth Town BID would raise in excess of £1m over five years and says it would focus on building the town’s identity and distinctiveness, and raising awareness of what the town has on offer.

The Putney BID could bring in around £1.4m over the next five years and says it would aim to enhance the town centre’s reputation as a welcoming and accessible place to shop, visit and work.

Wandsworth Council business spokesperson Kim Caddy said: “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 business plans for Putney and Wandsworth Town include very positive proposals, identified by the businesses themselves, 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.

“I hope both town centres will embrace these ambitious plans.”

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