Hybrid Business Improvement District (BID)
Tolworth has a well developed high street and two successful industrial estates at Red Lion road and Cox Lane. What you may not know is that we also have a nature reserve at Court Farm fields; Tolworth hospital is the main provider of mental health services for over one million people in south west London, we have a thriving allotment community, one of the oldest and most famous amateur football clubs in the world, busy churches and temples, active resident groups and a whole host of voluntary organisations.
But despite all of this, many people feel that Tolworth is a neglected area of Kingston with more attention being given to Kingston town centre and other areas such as Surbiton and New Malden. We think the time is right to create an organisation that includes all of Tolworth’s stakeholders; working together to improve the area in which we live and work and represent our views to the local Council, Transport for London, the police and other outside bodies.
We propose that the way to do this is to create a Business Improvement District, often called a BID. A Business Improvement District gives the opportunity for businesses and residents to work together improving the area in which we live and work. Some topics may be specific – for example estate signage, business websites, APNR cameras, lobbying and networking or increasing footfall to our shops and businesses but we also have common concerns such as fly-tipping, parking improvements, air quality, transport links and protecting the natural habitat.
What is a Business Improvement District?
Business Improvement Districts are usually business led partnerships which are created through a ballot process to deliver additional services to local businesses. They can be a powerful tool for directly involving local businesses in local activities and allow the business community and local authorities to work together to improve the local trading environment.
But we are proposing something new...
We want to bring together all elements of the Tolworth community and so we will be inviting businesses on the industrial estates, retailers, offices and local community organisations to join. A Business Improvement District is a defined area in which a levy is charged on all business rate payers in addition to the business rates bill. The levy will be set at 1% so a business with a rateable value of £18,000 would pay £180 per year to the BID (that’s under £3.50 per week). This levy is used to develop projects which will benefit stakeholders in the local area.
There is no limit on what projects or services can be provided through a Business Improvement District. The only requirement is that it should be something that is in addition to services provided by local authorities. Improvements may include, but are not limited to, extra safety/security, cleansing and environmental measures.