Orpington traders hoping for business improvement district yes vote
WHEELIE bins are not usually operated by remote control and they are not usually inspired by punks.
But when Orpington traders wanted to promote their bid to turn the town centre into a business improvement district (BID) they got Sid and Nancy to roll into town.
Named after Sid Vicious, from the Sex Pistols, and his girlfriend Nancy Spungen, the bins stirred up a lot of interest in the Orpington 1st idea during the campaign day.
On the day shoppers and visitors to the town centre were canvassed for their opinions about the idea of setting up a BID.
And this month businesses are being asked to show their support by taking part in a ballot and answering yes to the question: “Are you in favour of the proposals for the Orpington 1st business improvement district?”
If the majority of town centre traders vote yes the BID is set to come into being by April 1.
Orpington Business Forum vice chairman Chandra Sharma said: “Businesses: please don’t underestimate how important your vote is.
“We want to see the establishment of the BID so that Orpington becomes the first choice for customers, first for access, first for look & feel and first for business.”
More than £1m will be spent on improvements to Orpington town centre by 2018 if traders support the BID.
These include measures to tackle vacant shop units including rolling out a programme of pop-up shops and making shop fronts and window displays more attractive.
And also making the town look more appealing and make shoppers feel safer.
If the ballot is successful Orpington 1st will be funded by an annual levy of 1.5 per cent of the rateable value on all eligible businesses.
Charities and shopping centre tenants will be given a 50 per cent discount on the levy.
Click here for more details about Orpington 1st.