Multi-million pound investment plans secured with ballot result announced today
Local businesses in the Victoria Westminster BID have voted overwhelmingly in favour of renewing the Victoria Westminster Business Improvement District (BID) for a second consecutive term.
Of those businesses that voted, 98% voted ‘yes’ at the ballot (99.8% by rateable value), setting a strong mandate for the BID to continue to deliver its ambitious strategic and operational improvements of the area.
The ballot result endorses the key achievements of the BID over the past 5 years, after its establishment in 2018, and increases support for an aligned partnership approach across this key part of London.
The BID team, led by specialist regeneration expert Ruth Duston, OBE, OC, will work with the local authority and other key stakeholders to deliver the Victoria Westminster BID 2023-2028 vision that was published in advance of the ballot being held.
The BID’s work will continue to enhance the area’s important position as a key destination in London; with vital transport links, a history of culture and a vibrant leisure offering. Approximately £4.4 million will be invested into the area over the BID’s second term, bringing the BID’s lifetime investment to over £9 million. Over the past five years £2.5m in external investment has also been secured by the BID to deliver the refurbishment of Christchurch Gardens, in partnership with Westminster City Council.
Victoria Westminster has seen growth of 41% jobs since 2011 and already generates some £3.1 billion in GVA and contributes some £84 million in business rates to the Exchequer every year.
The Victoria Westminster BID will be investing in a range of strategic and operational projects and will focus on four aims:
- 1. Create a more environmentally sustainable business district and tackle climate change in line with the City of Westminster’s ambition for a net zero borough by 2040.
- 2. Drive the continued post-pandemic recovery by supporting the return of office occupiers to the workplace, reviving international tourism, addressing recruitment challenges in the hospitality sector and helping the local economy adapt to new consumer profiles and behaviour.
- 3. Maintain our role as an important bridge between the private and public sector, enabling partnerships that drive positive change not only in the BID area but also the wider community.
- 4. Use the collective strength of ‘London HQ’ – a collaboration with neighbouring south Westminster BIDs – to lobby for continued local and central government investment in the Victoria Westminster footprint, keeping London at the forefront of our economy.
Ruth Duston OBE OC, Chief Executive of the Victoria Westminster BID said:
“We are incredibly grateful to all those who took part in the ballot process – from our initial consultation in summer 2022 right the way through to the vote itself – and we look forward to another five years of delivering services in support of our members. Our on-street and destination marketing teams will continue to create an exemplary experience for visitors and workers alike, and we’ve already begun to develop a programme of improvements to Tothill Street, Petty France, Broadway and Palace Street that will be implemented over the coming term. At the heart of achieving all this will be a commitment to building a responsible business district that supports the wider Westminster community and prioritises environmental sustainability.”
About the Victoria Westminster BID:
The Victoria Westminster Business Improvement District (BID) was established in September 2018, as a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee. The BID was formed after an overwhelming 83% of levy paying businesses voted ‘yes’ at the ballot, firmly endorsing the £4.9 million investment plan, aimed at ensuring the area reaches its full economic and cultural potential. The establishment of London’s 60th Business Improvement District (BID) set a strong mandate to deliver ambitious improvements in the area that includes Parliament Square and Westminster Abbey.
The area is a key tourist destination which also houses the seat of Parliament and offers a variety of historic and cultural assets. The BID aims to create an area where businesses are keen to be located and which provides a safe, exciting environment full of energy for employers, employees, tourists and local residents.
The BID is governed by a voluntary board of business levy payers representing all sectors in the area. Observers also attend to represent public sector service providers and local charities. The board leads and guides the work of the BID and is supported by the executive team which implements, delivers and measures mandated programmes and projects.