By Sky Holmes, Travel Editor
Plans to regenerate London’s Victoria district, including introducing more visible security and increasing green spaces, have been unveiled by the Victoria Business Improvement District (BID). Victoria BID, established in April 2010, most recently outlined proposals to raise £8m through a levy on local businesses to regenerate the district. The Victoria 2020 Business Plan will also focus on brokering local employment opportunities, as well as introducing more public art and cultural attractions.
Victoria BID will ballot businesses next year at the end of the first five-year term to find out whether the group has the support to continue for another term. BIDs are funded through a BID levy, which is a small percentage of a businesses’ rateable value. In common with most BID’s, Victoria BID would charge 1%. Once a ballot is successful the BID levy is mandatory for all eligible businesses.
Ruth Duston, chief executive of the Victoria BID, told the BBC: “From running programmes to find jobs for local people and supporting small businesses, to improving the public realm and hosting world class cultural events, the BID’s focus is on creating the very best environment for businesses to thrive.”
The latest unveilings are but the latest of many, with past focuses on Victoria tube and a Victoria hub revamp plan. Victoria is a designated ‘Opportunity Area’ in the Mayor’s London Plan and ‘Westminster City Council’s Adopted Core Strategy January 2011’ planning policy document, recognising the potential of the area, with its excellent transport links, to accommodate commercial and residential growth.
Victoria BID’s latest focus has been welcomed. Mark Field, MP for Cities of London and Westminster stated: “At a time of continuing austerity in the public sector, the private sector arguably has a bigger and more ‘public’ role to play than ever before in order to create the most suitable environment for economic growth.
“This is where BIDs really show their value.”
Photocredit: Land Securities