The Blue is in truth something of a miasma. It appears on no map of London. Its boundaries and shape remain debated but for locals, the Blue is almost a sacred concept. Based around the Blue Anchor pub in Southwark Park Road and the market in Market Place nearby, the Blue has become the heartland of Bermondsey’s identity. And the stalls and businesses there continue to play a key role in the lives of many in the area.
Now those businesses have come together to create a Business Improvement District or BID for the Blue. Such an area provides a business-led and –funded programme of activities and services to benefit the economic development of the defined area. It lasts five years in the first instance and is funded by a business levy on the rateable value of each local business. Led by an elected Board representing businesses in the area and other key agencies, they will take action on such themes as safety, marketing and business services.
With 27 BIDs across London, the Blue Bermondsey BID joins a group of successful initiatives that are now proving that BIDs work and deliver real tangible benefits for businesses and the wider area. On 4 July, all the businesses who will pay the levy voted on whether to have such a BID in the Blue and they overwhelmingly supported the idea. The Board of the BID now has to put the flesh on the proposal and bring it to the starting line by 1 October 2014. For more information see www.thebluebermondsey.com