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Bromley Council votes to prepare way for BID

Mon 31 October 2011, 3:13 pm

Bromley Council has voted to prepare for the creation of a business improvement district for Orpington town centre.

A meeting of the Renewal and Recreation Policy Development Scrutiny Committee voted to release £44,000 to support the project.

The money came from the section 106 agreement paid by the developers of the Nugent Centre redevelopment.

Peter Morgan, executive councillor for renewal and recreation at the council, said: "BIDs put businesses in the driving seat to manage their own town centres, to invest in their own futures and improve defined business areas. 

“This exciting project will help ensure that Orpington continues to be a competitive town centre with the business community leading the way.”

A BID would build on the existing partnership between the council and local businesses to develop projects and services defined by the traders.

To implement the scheme, local traders within a defined area vote on whether they wish to contribute a small additional business rate of between 1 and 2 per cent.  

The majority of businesses must vote in favour of the scheme, which would be in place for five years. 

If the BID is successful, businesses above an agreed level of rateable value would be required to contribute through a levy.  

The funds are handed to a not-for-profit partnership BID organisation which allocates the money to additional services for businesses.  

"We welcome the council's feasibly study into what the businesses in Orpington feel could be provided to maintain and improve its standing as a shopping and business destination" said Gary Morris, chairman of the Orpington Business Forum.   

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