At MIPIM two years ago discussions about the need for partnership working between the public and private sector were relatively few and far between. This year, I am struck by how the issue is now firmly on the agenda.
I started my day in sunny Cannes this morning speaking on a London stand panel discussion on the topic of adding value through partnership and stewardship – a signal that this type of collaboration is becoming increasingly important to the success of the capital.
With net investment in the public sector expected to fall from 1.9 per cent of GDP to only 1.5 per cent in 2019, there are concerns over who will pay for major projects. The government has called on the private sector to fund more than half of £483bn of infrastructure improvements planned by 2021.
Gone are the days that the Government was able to fund major and transformative infrastructure projects. Increasingly we will see businesses put their hands in their own pockets to improve infrastructure in local areas to support long term growth. This demands a new framework for funding – local businesses identifying local funding gaps and acting together to deliver long term value in a specific geographic location.
This sort of new framework requires partnership and facilitation and this is where I see the role of Business Improvement Districts shifting more than ever. BIDs are definitely the sheepdog not the sheep when it comes to bringing partners together to deliver projects.
In recent years we have seen BIDs in central London in particular taking on increasingly strategic roles – acting as real custodians of their area, identifying growth limiting issues, lobbying for investment and working collaboratively with the public sector to deliver improvements. This is set to continue and I suggest that BIDs now need to be the drivers of this new funding framework.
In Victoria we are already working productively with public sector partners and businesses from across the footprint to develop a new funding strategy for investment in Victoria Station, which we all know is in need of improvement especially with more growth on the horizon. I predict we will see more of this in the future with businesses having an even greater role in the future development of areas in which they have a stake.Back to our news Top