Purley’s hopes of having a Business Improvement District – BID – and get a six-figure sum towards the upkeep of the town centre’s high street took an important step forward this week when Croydon Council agreed to back the proposal.
“This is great news,” said Simon Cripps, the chairman of Purley BID. “Now we can ask local businesses to vote for a regeneration initiative that will see something like £160,000 a year invested in street cleaning, parking, policing and much more. This will be something that benefits everyone and businesses will be in the driving seat.”
A BID is formed to improve the business interest of a specific area by investing in services, projects and events. The BID is both business-led and business funded, usually from businesses in the area. It is funded by a levy applied to the current business rates, In the case of Purley BID this is set at 2 per cent and would create an income of around £161,000 per year.
The Labour-run council cabinet made the decision on Monday night, with cross-party support from Croydon South’s Tory MP Chris Philp, and London Assembly Member Steve O’Connell, a Conservative councillor for Kenley.
Toni Letts, the cabinet member for economy and jobs, said, “We want to ensure that our district centres such as Purley, are able to directly benefit from the economic growth generated by the multi-billion regeneration of Croydon’s metropolitan centre.
“A Purley BID will give a strong voice to businesses in Purley and significantly strengthen the impact of regeneration in the area. We want to see Purley given the greatest opportunity to unlock its potential.”
Local businesses will start voting on October 15. Results will be announced on November 18 and, if at least 51 per cent vote in favour, the BID will be launched in February next year.
The initiative will be funded by the levy on businesses in the BID area (mostly the CR8 2 postcode), based on their rateable value.
Other improvements planned will include better signposting and an advertising and marketing campaign to attract shoppers.
Businesses paying the levy, those with a rateable value over £8,000, will decide exactly how the money is invested. The aim is to tackle five areas of concern in Purley: access, perception and image, cleaner and greener, business engagement and safety and security.
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