Businesses Do "Love Wimbledon"

Local firms vote in favour of BID plans

Wimbledon businesses have voted in favour of proposals for a Business Improvement District for the town centre.

The announcement was made on Friday (February 10) following a ballot of more than 400 firms in the town centre.

A vote for 'yes' came from 70% of those who voted, representing 65% of the rateable value of businesses in the area. Overall turnout was 36%.

The Business Improvement District (BID) will now enable local firms, through an elected board, to prioritise spending to make the town centre more attractive and profitable.

It's anticipated £2.25m would be collected during a 5-year period to spend on projects agreed by the BID board. Work will now begin on April 1.

Each business in the BID area (see map below) will have to contribute 1% of its rateable value into the scheme.

The team behind the scheme, including Merton Chamber of Commerce, last year set up the Love Wimbledon initiative to promote the plans.

Andrew Wakefield, chair of Wimbledon Chamber of Commerce, sent the following 'tweet' when the announcement was made: "Great news. Well done everybody who has worked on this - and all the businesses who voted yes. Thanks".

Paul Windsor, Chairman of Love Wimbledon, and Partner with WSM, said: "I am delighted that the businesses of Wimbledon have got behind Love Wimbledon and given such a strong mandate to this important business-led initiative.

"Love Wimbledon will drive forward a powerful, focused agenda for change for the businesses of Wimbledon Town Centre and ensure a brighter future for all of us."

A shadow board has been working on a proposed budget for some time and has agreed three strategic objectives for the BID:

1. Ensuring the town centre is attractive, vibrant and cared for (£519,375 in the budget).

2. Keeping the businesses, attractions and facilities of the town centre connected, represented and promoted (£670,625 in the budget).

3. Providing services for businesses and attracting new ones (£310,500 in the budget).

The designated area BID, covers The Broadway along to Wimbledon Hill Road as well as Worple and Hartfield Roads.

Most Wimbledon businesses will pay between £200-£1,000 per year, with exemption for businesses with a rateable value of less than £20,000.

February 12, 2012

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The BID team are pictured celebrating

BID for Wimbledon