Waterloo businesses have voted overwhelmingly in favour of SE1's third Business Improvement District (BID), to be funded by a levy on business rates.
Businesses in Waterloo have voted in favour of the Waterloo Quarter Business Alliance (WQBA) Business Improvement District.
74% of businesses voting and 91% of total rateable value of those voting were in favour, with 122 votes cast. For the BID to be approved, 50% had to be achieved on both counts. The rateable value result is the second highest percentage achieved by a BID in the country and the highest in London. The number of those eligible to vote was 245.
The next five years will see approximately £1.4 million raised through a 2% BID levy of local businesses. Every penny will be invested into the area for improvements that local businesses have prioritised.
The aim is for WQBA to act as a voice and provide a focus for individual business issues, working to make the area more prosperous, more pleasant and safe. A priority will be to make the locality better connected by arguing for more investment in its public infrastructure.
Chris Smith, chair of the WQBA Board, hailed the vote as a "fantastic result" and "the most positive step the area could have made for the good of the future."
Lambeth Council leader Peter Truesdale – whose Bishops Ward constituency includes Waterloo – welcomed the vote, stressing that the council backed the BID one hundred per cent. "Hopefully this result signals a new era for Waterloo," he added. "This is an excellent result for the business community in Waterloo and recognition of the effort put in to the BID by WQBA members and staff. It also marks an important milestone for Lambeth, being our very first BID."
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