Fitzrovia BID considers ‘tidying up’ its boundaries ahead of renewal vote

The Fitzrovia Partnership Business Improvement District is currently reviewing the size of its estate and considering expanding across the borough boundary from Camden into Westminster.

Map of proposed Fitzrovia BID.

The Fitzrovia BID is occupying the Camden side of Fitzrovia but is hungry for more real estate.

The Fitzrovia Partnership BID was established in 2012 in the Camden part of Fitzrovia after 72 businesses voted in favour of it, and despite the resistance from local residents.

Members of the BID in premises with a rateable value (RV) of over £100,000 — around 230 commercial sites — have to pay a levy of one percent of RV in exchange for various environmental and marketing services. The BID is a public-private partnership with Camden Council which collects the levy on behalf of The Fitzrovia Partnership.

Due to the proposed increase in business rates from next April the Fitzrovia BID says it will reduce its current bid levy to offset the increase to its members.

In the summer of 2017 the Fitzrovia BID will re-ballot businesses in the hope of securing a further five year mandate.

It is also likely to increase its estate to include commercial buildings on the south eastern side of Tottenham Court Road between Bayley Street and New Oxford Street, an area previously part of the neighbouring Midtown BID.

Fitzrovia News also understands that the Fitzrovia Partnership is considering a further expansion of its area to include the Westminster side of Fitzrovia after new legislation in 2013 allows for cross boundary BIDs.

Lee Lyons, BID manager of The Fitzrovia Partnership, told Fitzrovia News:

“The BID is currently exploring all situations in regard to the ballot, this includes the tidying up of our boundaries that may well include Tottenham Court Road and the Westminster area of Charlotte Street.”

The Fitzrovia BID is still considering its options and declined to comment further on its potential expansion and partnership with Westminster Council, but in theory it could stake a claim all the way west up to The New West End Company BID which covers Oxford Street and Regent Street.

However, the Fitzrovia BID is quite tightly focussed around Charlotte Street and Tottenham Court Road and the land owned by property developer Derwent London which promoted the BID in the first place.

But last year Derwent London added to its collection of buildings on the corner of Rathbone Place and Oxford Street next to a proposed station entrance for Crossrail 2, and it is nearing completion of a site in Berners Street after demolishing three buildings there.

It is likely that The Fitzrovia Partnership would want to capture the area immediately to the north of the new Tottenham Court Road Crossrail station western ticket hall which means they would consider Rathbone Place, Newman Street and possibly Berners Street.

Before any ballot on the Westminster side the BID is required to get approval from Westminster City Council and carry out a consultation with businesses. If a cross-boundary BID is approved by a ballot, according to the legislation governing BIDs, it is likely that the businesses on the Westminster side would be in the unusual position of having the levy collected by Camden Council.

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