Taking Stock: The Annual Report

Headline Date 06-07-2017

The Victoria Business Improvement District team have released an annual report to take stock of the BID’s achievements so far and the key priorities for the remainder of the year.

“Now perhaps more than any period to date, there are several external factors which are impacting on our diverse and thriving business community. As a proactive and future facing BID, it is our duty to ensure we take account of these factors in order to effectively support the businesses we represent.

We find ourselves in the midst of a period of great change, with some undoubtedly exciting opportunities on the horizon but also a degree of uncertainty. Brexit, increasing global competition, competing priorities in the UK economy and ongoing security threats combine to create a somewhat challenging backdrop for businesses in London. The Victoria BID continues to work tirelessly to support the interests of businesses across the area, focused primarily on local priorities but also acknowledging these wider issues that can impact on our business members.

The BID is working to ensure that the opportunities are maximised. We want Victoria to reach its full potential in the coming years and therefore the role of the BID – being the voice of the business community and custodians of the area – has never been more important. Over the past year, the BID has ramped up its lobbying of decision makers and influencers on many of the big issues facing Victoria, to make sure our priorities are pushed up the agenda. Among a range of activities, we hosted a fringe event at the Conservative Party Conference with the think tank Localis, participated in one of the world’s most influential property conferences (MIPIM) and have engaged at the most senior level with decision makers from London and UK Government. Our popular Leader Lunches, which some members were able to attend, looked at finding creative solutions to some of the thorny issues facing London (and Victoria) today, such as tourism, infrastructure and air quality.

Perhaps the biggest issue on our agenda is the need to push for continued investment in the Victoria area, especially funding improvements to Victoria mainline railway station. We are aware that the public purse continues to shrink and pressures from other parts of the UK are making major investment in London infrastructure more challenging than ever. The BID is responding proactively and creatively to this as we know the importance of good transport infrastructure to local businesses. The funding groups we have established over the past year seek to bring decision makers, occupiers and property owners to the table to develop a new funding formula for investment, driven by a new partnership between the public and private sectors. This work will continue in the current financial year with the BID playing the role of facilitator and enabler on this most vital of issues. Alongside our lobbying work, the transformation of Victoria continues apace. With the first phase of Land Securities’ Nova development approaching completion we have welcomed several new hospitality venues and residents to the area and the BID’s work to position Victoria as a leading London destination has been reinvigorated. From our Christmas Festival activity and the Boogie Wonderland pop-up cinema to the installation of our Chelsea Flower Show award-winning Parklets in locations across Victoria, the BID has led a range of innovative and engaging activities to entertain and bring our members together. More detail on these activities can be found in the detail of this Annual Report, however, in summary, the BID is working to ensure our programmes have greater impact and higher profile, complementing the growing number of destination brands that now call Victoria home. The board is also supporting the establishment of a neighbouring BID to the East of our current footprint, to promote business and further enhance the area surrounding Victoria.Victoria is one of the most exciting districts in central London and it’s a privilege to be working with you, our business members, to make the area as successful as it possibly can be. Thanks to record investment in recent years, Victoria is now in the top 10 areas in London for year on year growth in commercial property and we are committed to

Victoria is one of the most exciting districts in central London and it’s a privilege to be working with you, our business members, to make the area as successful as it possibly can be. Thanks to record investment in recent years, Victoria is now in the top 10 areas in London for year on year growth in commercial property and we are committed to see this upward trajectory continue. This area is a vital part of London’s economy, supporting one of the highest concentrations of employment anywhere in the capital, outside of the City and parts of the West End. It generates around £3.1bn in GVA annually and tax revenues in the region of £1bn. Despite some of the challenges London faces, and Victoria specifically, we are confident and buoyed about the future. By working together, continuing to identify the priorities that matter to you, engaging decision makers and influencers, and delivering innovative and transformative programmes and initiatives, the BID will help this wonderful area thrive even more than it is now. With Crossrail 2 on the horizon, more Government action promised on the capital’s air pollution and potentially more investment, the future looks bright for Victoria. Our priorities of upgrading the public realm and tackling rough sleeping will be our continued focus as we look to enhance Christchurch Gardens and work with Transport for London on improvements to Terminus Place. The devolution agenda is set to deliver greater powers to the local authority and the GLA and the BID sees the role of the private sector being pivotal in this new governance framework for London. Through BIDs, the private sector has a big role to play, and in the coming years, we want to be able to grow the influence of our business community on the big issues we face as a city.

We hope you find this year’s Annual Report interesting and are pleased with the progress being made by the BID team on your behalf. As ever, all our work aims to support our businesses so we look forward to continuing to work closely with you in the coming months to deliver the programmes and improvements that best meet your needs. Finally for now, thank you for your support in what we do – the BID is only able to operate with the support of businesses and we will never take that support and endorsement for granted.”

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