Five years ago, the businesses of Wimbledon Town Centre voted positively to become a Business Improvement District (BID). The new BID, named ‘Love Wimbledon’, saw businesses enter a 5 year term and contribute an annual investment to improve the town centre. With the first term approaching its end, Wimbledon BID businesses have now ‘gone to ballot’ to vote to secure another five years of investment into Wimbledon Town Centre.
That renewal ballot for the second term opened on Thursday 22nd September and will close on Thursday 20th October. Only Businesses can vote. The Love Wimbledon result will be announced on 21st October at 10am.
Securing the future with long term investment
An extra half a million pounds a year is invested by businesses into the BID. This delivers increased cleaning and security, hanging baskets, bee friendly planting, popular events (Big screen tennis/ Winter Wonderland / Autumn Arts) , Christmas lights, markets and pop ups – these are the things visitors are likely to see in Wimbledon Town Centre. But it’s also the things that visitors probably don’t see , the work on reducing crime and improving safety, lobbying utility companies, getting dead trees replaced, pursuing the station façade clean or patrolling the streets to secure the removal of graffiti and fly tipping that make a big difference. The BID provides added cleanliness and street improvements that make Wimbledon town centre a much nicer place to visit. They are also working to minimise the impact of Crossrail 2 on the town centre.
Part of Love Wimbledon’s role is to let customers and residents know what’s happening in Wimbledon. They have printed 1 million What’s On guides, have 6,000 followers on twitter, keep the town centre website up to date which includes a full business listing, manage very active social media and they work with local arts organisations and community groups to build longevity.
Why should the BID stay?
Love Wimbledon has provided significant positive benefits for the town over the last five years. The opportunities for the events programme, the marketing and promotion of the town centre as well as a cohesive placemaking strategy enables locals and visitors to enjoy the benefits the business community investment in a BID brings. Without a BID there is no additional investment to provide these additional initiatives and enable the links between the businesses and residents of Wimbledon.
Five Year Planning
To get the most out of this business investment, Love Wimbledon developed a five year plan in 2012, which outlined targets and key performance indicators to enable a clear strategy. These targets have been met; in fact Love Wimbledon has exceeded many of them. Love Wimbledon has created its plan for the next 5 years (see here).
“Since Love Wimbledon started in 2012, we have made a significant difference to the town centre, to make it more attractive and exciting for residents to visit, increasing footfall, which encourages more shops and offices to locate here. This then provides a virtuous circle and leads to improvements for everyone. I am looking forward to securing the support of the business community for another 5 year term so we can continue to support Wimbledon town centre to be a strong town centre.” Helen Clark Bell, Chief Executive of Love Wimbledon BID