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Local businesses in Aldgate have voted overwhelmingly in favour of establishing the first Business Improvement District (BID) in Tower Hamlets and only the second for the City of London. The cross-borough BID: ‘Aldgate Connect’ will now ‘go live’ in April after the resounding vote of approval heard on the 14 February 2020. 

The successful ballot result means Aldgate Connect will be able to deliver a variety of strategic and operational improvements in the area around Aldgate. 

Of those businesses that voted, 92% voted ‘yes’ at the ballot (94% by rateable value). The ballot result is a strong endorsement of the achievements of Aldgate Partnership since it was first established in 2014. 

The BID team, led by specialist regeneration consultancy Primera Corporation, will work with the City Corporation, Tower Hamlets and other partners to deliver the ambitious business plan that was published in advance of the ballot being held. 

Over the next five years the Aldgate Connect BID will invest around £4 million in projects and programmes ranging from support for businesses and improving business resilience, to enhancing air quality, promoting the area as a destination and supporting young people. 

There is growing acknowledgement that all areas in the capital are raising their game, no matter how well known or iconic. The drive to compete for the best talent, a rightful share of the tourist market and entice domestic visitors has never been more important. 

Ruth Duston OBE OC, MD of Primera Corporation – Executive Director of the Aldgate Connect BID said:

“BIDs in the capital are a powerful and strategic force for good. From transformational public realm projects, to supporting small businesses and making areas safer, cleaner and more pleasant places to visit or work, BIDs have a proven track record for driving change and innovation. This positive result means that the opportunity for Aldgate is significant, giving the private sector a real say in the future evolution of this fantastic location.”

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: “We welcome the decision to establish a Business Improvement District, building on the legacy of the Aldgate Partnership’s work.

“We look forward to working with the team, businesses and partners to make Aldgate a great place to live, work and visit.”

There are now more than 60 BIDs operating in central London. Not only providing important operational functions such as cleaning and greening, BIDs are increasingly seen as strategic partners to the public sector, providing vital ‘added value’ in districts across the capital and working hand in hand with the public sector bodies such as TfL, local councils and the GLA. Importantly, they give a voice to business communities and are able to lobby on big issues impacting on businesses.