Originally posted on the IPM Website.

Read the report on “Improving Places“:


Business Improvement Districts and cultural organisations should work together to drive economic growth and help their communities thrive, says a new report from King’s College London that was commissioned by Arts Council England and the Mayor of London.

The report is structured around 23 case studies from BIDs across the UK, and two in the US.

The report says that BIDs have an important roles in driving economic growth.

“BIDs are taking the lead on an ever-wider range of urban renewal projects. This underlines their value as creators of economic growth. In London alone, BIDs…are providing 287 additional services to their communities, like regeneration, planning and place-shaping…. A London First study recommends that BIDs should play an even bigger role in campaigning for investment to create better places.”

Likewise, culture is an important contributor to economic growth as the report notes that according to the the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, the UK’s creative industries are worth over £84 billion a year. The report suggests six areas where BIDs and cultural organisations can work together, including:

  • Placemaking — using their great local knowledge, both cultural organisations and BIDs are well placed to help develop bold, innovative neighbourhoods and support communities.
  • Place-branding — helping to promote an area as distinctive and attractive for locals and visitors. This can increase footfall and reach new audiences. Both can, in turn, improve retail spend.
  • Business development — helping industry professionals, entrepreneurs and small businesses to grow and develop their business.
  • Affordable spaces — finding affordable workspace, offices and shops – particularly in the context of rising business rates.
  • Community — building stronger communities by involving local people as ambassadors, volunteers and campaigners.
  • Creative programming — running activities that highlight a location’s unique offer and raise its public profile.

The report is an endorsement of how the system can “nurture and deliver social and commercial benefits for communities”, the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) has said.