The proposal to introduce a Business Improvement District (BID) in the area between London Bridge and Tower Bridge has been given a strong seal of approval in a business referendum.
71 per cent of the votes cast, representing over 78 per cent of the rateable value of votes cast, were cast in favour of the proposal.
Organisations within the proposed Business Improvement District voted to make compulsory contributions towards a fund which will pay for extra local services and projects for a period of five years. The London Bridge BID Company, an independent, not-for-profit, business-led organisation, will be set up to manage the fund and will be fully operational from April 2006 to March 2011.
A key task for the new BID Company will be to provide representation and advice on local development and planning issues for business rate-paying organisations around London Bridge, as well as helping to fund extra projects and services such as enhanced local security, extra street cleaning, and extra marketing and promotional support for the area.
"This is a really exciting opportunity for us as a business community to get involved in major decisions being made about our environment," said James Dinwiddie of Snowsfields-based Dinwiddie MacLaren Architects.
The London Bridge Business Improvement District became the seventh BID approved in central London since the regulations came into force in September 2004. Other BIDs are operating in Bankside, Holborn, Kingston, Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Street and Paddington.
The proposal to introduce a BID was sponsored and developed by the Pool of London Partnership (PLP) regeneration agency, who undertook over 18 months of consultation on the BID concept with the business community, Southwark Council, and other agencies operating in the area. Eddie Oliver, Chairman of the Pool of London Partnership, said, "We are delighted that the local business community has given the London Bridge BID such a strong mandate. The Pool of London Partnership looks forward to working with the new company during its first year to ensure the long term competitiveness and quality of the environment."
228 businesses were eligible to vote in the ballot, having together a total of 317 castable votes. 153 votes were cast in the ballot, 113 in favour of the BID.