In July 2022 the Orpington town centre business community voted overwhelmingly in favour of a third 5-year term for the Orpington 1st Business Improvement District (BID), which will run from April 2023 - March 2028.
Orpington 1st was the first BID in the London Borough of Bromley to be established back in 2013 and has since been joined by Bromley, Beckenham, and Penge.
A Business Improvement District is a defined geographical area within which businesses pay a levy in order to fund additional projects. For a BID to go ahead, a ballot of eligible businesses must be won on two counts: a straight majority and majority of the combined rateable value. This ensures that the interests of large and small businesses are protected.
Businesses within Orpington's BID boundary, which centres on the high street and shopping centre, pay 1.5% of the rateable value of their premises into the Orpington 1st BID - a not for profit ltd company governed by a board of directors made up of business owners and managers in the area - which then reinvests the funds, supporting a range of projects aiming to make Orpington Better for Business.
Alongside business support projects the BID undertakes a range of customer facing activity, including work to improve the look and feel of the high street, and the activation of the town centre through events.
The BID invests in an annual summer planting programme including the installation of flower cubes across the high street and Pallet Parks to create additional greening and seating.
Orpington businesses also fund the high street's Christmas lights every year, install the remembrance poppies in the high street's trees, and the Union flag at the War Memorial.
Town centre events organised by Orpington 1st have included the Christmas switch on event 'Light Up Orpington', Orpington's Platinum Jubilee Celebrations, the Orpington Santa Dash, and Orpington Literary Festival. The BID was also the founding of sponsor of 'Priory Live', 'The Big O Festival' and 'Enchanted Children's Festival'.
Our website contains a comprehensive directory of Orpington town centre businesses, an events listing, parking info, as well as news, jobs, and offers sections - promoting the town and its businesses to a broader audience. Since the BID's creation the Orpington 1st website has received 2.25 million hits from people looking for information on Orpington town centre.
Regular e-newsletters are sent out to our subscriber base, and we have a strong social media following across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linkedin. We also publish a magazine which celebrates the town and provides a vehicle for key stakeholders to update the resident and business communities. Over 15,000 copies of The Orpington 1st Magazine are printed and distributed quarterly.
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