Beckenham Together signals an exciting future for town
Beckenham based businesses continue to pull together to implement the Business Improvement District (BID) initiative – to ensure the town continues to prosper and flourish over the next five years.
Business Improvement Districts (BID) originate from North America, with the first BID being established in Toronto in 1970. The initiative came about after a handful of local business saw the potential of pooling their resources together to make the local area more attractive as a leisure, shopping and tourist destination.
With the initiative being a huge success in Toronto, it wasn’t long before other communities took notice. Today, there are approximately 1,500 BIDs worldwide with every town and city involved reaping the rewards.
BIDs were introduced into the UK in 2004 and the number of initiatives has ballooned in an attempt to boost local economies. The first UK BID was in Kingston, Surrey, and today the number of BIDs across the UK stands at 290.
Beckenham embarked on the exciting and fruitful project after it received a successful outcome to the BID ballot. Businesses within the BID area pay a levy in addition to their rateable value – monies go directly to the BID management body, which in turn funds a variety of business improvement projects into the local area.
The Beckenham BID, entitled Beckenham Together, continues to work toward achieving the goal of ‘ensuring Beckenham is an inspiring, attractive and safe place to visit, work and live.’
Beckenham Together focuses on the following key areas:
- Bringing the business community together
- Implementing a joint buying scheme – thus reducing business costs
- Increasing footfall to Beckenham – in turn protecting local businesses and boosting economy
- Introducing a varied programme of events to attract people to the town
- Promoting Beckenham locally and further afield
- Enhancing the shopping environment
- Ultimately forming one voice for the town
At the heart of the town, some 400 businesses are now empowered to drive the on-going transformation which will see huge benefits to all.
Beckenham Together (BID) is set to invest £940,000 into Beckenham over the next five years. A stand-alone entity separate to the London Borough of Bromley Council, and is run by the local business owners of the town. Currently, the Beckenham Together team consists of Chair Lucy Beckwith (Burger & Bubbles) who is joined by directors – Jackie Groundsell (Beckenham Business Association, Affiliate Friends of the BID), Kelly Bradford (Beckenham Bookshop), Manda Warner (Ollie & Dollie and Creases), Matt Walden (Three Hounds Beer), Clayton Varley (Varley & Varley) and Zara Green (Link Asset Services).
Zoe Brown Beckenham Together (BID) Manager, drives the project forward by implementing the plan strategically put together by local businesses in the town centre. With a glittering career to date and experience in consulting with a wide variety of organisations including global companies, government departments, charities and small businesses, Zoe is ideally placed for this role.