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Orpington votes in favour of keeping business improvement district

PUBLISHED: 13:19 14 November 2017 | UPDATED: 15:55 14 November 2017

Orpington

Orpington

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The district helps raise money to be reinvested back into the town

Investment is expected to keep coming to Orpington as firms supported the renewal of its business improvement district.

Orpington 1st, the borough’s first BID, has raised £1million for the town since it was established in 2013, money that has been spent on a variety of areas including public events and a dedicated town centre police team.

Last week, 82.3 per cent of businesses backed a vote to renew the BID, which will now run until 2023.

Shops and other companies within a BID are charged an additional levy on their business rates, with the money raised from that levy pumped back into the district, in the hope that improvements will boost visitors, thus bringing further income.

Aside from investing into the town, Orpington 1st has helped to put on events including the Priory Festival and Orpington’s annual Christmas lights switch on.

Chairman Martin Price said: “It’s wonderful to see the town’s business community come together in continued support of Orpington 1st.

“The BID provides businesses with the opportunity of direct involvement in the development of their centre and of influencing its performance.”

The latest ballot marks a 40 per cent increase in support from local businesses compared to the first vote four years ago.

Sharon Baldwin, Orpington 1st executive director said: “We are delighted to have received such a significant increase in yes votes for the renewal and therefore an even stronger mandate for the delivery of our business plan. The result really does demonstrate the value of the BID to both individual businesses and to the town as a whole.”

Following the result, Bromley councillor Peter Morgan, executive councillor for renewal and recreation said “Much has already been achieved by Orpington 1st to support businesses and improve the town centre and our congratulations go to Orpington’s business community and the Orpington 1st BID team for this excellent result.

“The council is committed to working with businesses in a true spirit of partnership to boost the local economy, which is good for everyone, and we look forward to continue working with Orpington 1st over the coming years.

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