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A Business Improvement District (BID) is being proposed for Culture Mile, building on the creative animation of the area since 2017, which has been led by the City of London Corporation and four cultural organisations.  The creation of a BID will provide the mandate and resources to deliver tangible projects to support businesses.

There are more than 300 BIDs across the UK, over 70 in London, and currently four in the City of London, as more areas recognise that BIDs can turn collective will into collective action.

A future Culture Mile BID will:
  • Contribute to the Square Mile’s recovery from the pandemic through creating a place to which the talented workers on which business depend are attracted and retained
  • Create a cultural destination for workers, visitors and residents by showcasing outstanding creative experiences and which reflect and amplify the area’s remarkable heritage
  • Build a connected and inclusive sense of community and opportunity among businesses in this part of the City

This Culture Mile ‘Perception Analysis’ is being undertaken to understand how business organisations and stakeholders perceive the area where they work. The output and recommendations from this research will help to shape the BID proposal - the blueprint that businesses will have an opportunity to vote on in early 2023.

More than 250 business within the proposed footprint have been invited to complete the survey.

Strategic Areas

The Board of the Culture Mile Partnership has identified four Strategic Themes which it proposed will inform a formal BID proposal, as follows:

Cultural Destination

The BID will promote Culture Mile as a major destination for creativity, innovation and learning that capitalises on the unique cultural offer in the area. As well as increasing and diversifying the area’s visitor base, the BID’s approach will move beyond arts and culture ‘for their own sake’ and put it to work in pursuit of tangible benefits to the area’s businesses, helping them to attract opportunity and innovate, and creating a vibrant environment where talent wants to be.

Inspiring Places

The BID will lead a highest-quality placemaking programme to enhance the public realm, bring vibrancy to the streetscape and enrich the everyday experience of the area. It will reflect the area’s remarkable heritage, its unique stories, stimulate imaginations, support productivity and prioritise wellbeing.

Connected Community

The BID will actively help its businesses to make new connections, provide a means to collective address challenges to business growth and and help to unlock the huge potential for innovation across the area. It will provide practical opportunities for the people working in the area to make new relationships and learn from each other while championing diversity, inclusion and social mobility.

Sustainable Environment

The BID will prioritise planetary health through driving an ambitious sustainability agenda, playing an integral part in making the City greener, cleaner, less polluting and more resilient. It will invest in projects and programmes to find better ways to do business in a more sustainable, climate resilient way, while also recognising the commercial pressures facing businesses in the capital.
Examples of Culture Mile’s previous work includes;

Culture & Commerce Taskforce - Chaired by the Lord Mayor in partnership with the City of London Corporation, this year-long cross-sector programme tested projects that unite business and the creative industries for mutual positive benefit to accelerate recovery from the pandemic. Watch highlights here.

Gaia’s Garden - A community-built public garden that offered free workshops and events to young Londoners looking to learn more about sustainability, in partnership with Dominvs Group and Play Nice. Winner of the Time Out Green Space of the Year Award.

PLAY at London Wall Place - Culture Mile and Brookfield Properties partnered with the London Symphony Orchestra to create two short films celebrating the creative energy of the City featuring LSO musicians and dancers in collaboration with emerging filmmakers. Shortlisted for a Brand in Film Award 2021.

Creative Exchange - a wide-ranging skills and knowledge sharing programme offering two-way skills development opportunities between the creative and commercial sectors. Supported by founding partner Bloomberg L.P.

Smithfield Street Party – an unmissable party full of music, circus performances, family workshops, games and play that took over Smithfield in August 2019 and welcomed over 10,000 visitors into the area.

Around the Corner - a walking tour of 12 sculptural installations between Millennium Bridge and Barbican tube station which animated and transformed this area. Explore the route here.

For more information, please browse Culture Mile’s 2020/21 Annual Report.

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Proposed BID footprint

The proposed footprint for the Culture Mile BID is outlined below.

<strong>Proposed BID footprint<br><br></strong>The proposed footprint for the Culture Mile BID is outlined below.
Culture Mile Perception Analysis Survey

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* 1. Which sector do you work in?

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* 2. Please provide us with the general contact details of your organisation or company. 
Please include company name, address, city/town, postcode, phone.

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* 3. Please provide your name, job title and email address.

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* 4. How long have you worked in the Culture Mile area?

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* 5. Have you heard of Culture Mile?

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* 6. Are you aware of any of its projects?

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* 7. Are you familiar with Business Improvement Districts, those already in the City of London or elsewhere?

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* 8. Where is your favourite place to visit in Culture Mile?

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* 9. What is your favourite cultural or creative pastime?

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* 10. If there was one place, venue or event in the world you could visit, where / what would it be?

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* 11. In three words, what does a world class destination have to combine?

Introduction to Culture Mile

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* 12. Please rate how important these themes are to your business (see the introduction for detail on each of these themes).

  Not important at all Somewhat important Important Very important
Cultural Destination       
Inspiring Places
Connected Community
Sustainable Environment
Cultural Destination

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* 13. Would you welcome the idea of the Culture Mile area becoming recognised as a world class destination for creativity, innovation and learning?

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* 14. As a business do you value what culture can contribute to the area?

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* 15. Do you believe an enhanced cultural offer can support local economic growth?

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* 16. What would you like to see more of across Culture Mile? Tick the three that most apply.

Inspiring Places

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* 17. Does the external environment play a role in your office ‘experience’ and encouraging your employees back to the office?

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* 18. How would you rate the quality of the area’s public spaces and streetscapes?

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* 19. Do you feel that Culture Mile has a strong identity?

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* 20. Is this reflected in public realm? 

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* 21. Which of the following are important to your workforce? Tick the three that most apply.

Connected Community

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* 22. Do you feel that connecting and collaborating with other local businesses is important to your business?

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* 23. Do you feel well informed about plans and new developments about the local area?

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* 24. Would you like to have more opportunities to collaborate with businesses outside of your sector?

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* 25. Are any of the following initiatives of interest to you / your business? Tick the three that most apply.

Sustainable Environment

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* 26. Is sustainability and climate resilience important to your business?

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* 27. Do you think your business could be doing more to respond to sustainability and climate resilience?

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* 28. As a business, would you like to see more local projects and programmes to help promote better sustainability across the area?

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* 29. Do you think better climate resilience and the drive to net zero is a commercial opportunity or risk for your business?

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* 30. Which of the following services and projects would you like to see delivered in this area? Tick the three that most apply.

A future BID for Culture Mile

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* 31. Are there any other projects and programmes you would like a Culture Mile BID to consider? Please note them here if so:

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* 32. Do you support the principle of a BID for Culture Mile?

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* 33. Would you be interested in getting involved in developing the BID’s projects, should the BID be successful at the ballot next year? There will be opportunities to get involved in steering groups, for example, made up of representatives from the business community.

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* 34. Do you have the authority to vote in the ballot? If not, do you know who the voter contact would be?

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* 35. Voter contact name:

Culture Mile Musings

We would love to hear your views on the below questions if you have time.

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* 36. What are the key challenges to your business being based in the Culture Mile area?

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* 37. What unique characteristics of the Culture Mile area make it attractive to your businesses and to the people you work with?

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* 38. What unique characteristics of the Culture Mile area make it attractive to your businesses and to the people you work with?

What happens next?

Consultation and engagement – local businesses are consulted through this Perception Analysis, and on an ongoing basis as the BID proposal is developed.

BID Proposal -  A BID proposal will be drafted, based on the questions and responses in the document herewith. This shapes the BID proposal which is submitted to the City of London Corporation for endorsement. In its draft format, it will be submitted to the business community for their comments. This will be published in the autumn 2022.


Ballot – February 2023. The businesses community will vote on the BID proposal that sets out the projects and services that will be provided over a 5-year term.
 

The Culture Mile BID would ‘go live’ in April 2023 should it be successful at the ballot.


How the ballot works

In order for an area to establish BID status, it must receive a YES vote at the ballot by both turnout and aggregate rateable value. If a BID is established, this will be financed by a mandatory annual levy, paid by eligible businesses, which will be re-invested for the delivery of the projects as set out in the BID proposal.
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