Proponents of the Hatton Garden Business Improvement District (BID) have announced plans for a £2.5m investment into the local area over the next five years.
The plans were announced at an event last night (Thursday, 12 May) hosted by NatWest Bank, where Gary Williams – chairman of the Hatton Garden BID – addressed more than 80 guests.
The proposal document outlined the BID and focused on four main areas; getting local business working together as a voice for the community to influence policy changes; promoting the area to attract footfall and visitors; public realm improvements to make the area more attractive to visitors as well as more signage; and improving the area environmental impact.
Part of the aim of the BID, which officially launched towards the end of last year with a Christmas lights switch-on, is to capitalise on increased footfall expected as a result of the major Crossrail hub station, opening at nearby Farringdon.
Speaking to Jewellery Focus, Williams said: “Last night for the first time I felt like we were really making progress with the local community. It was a great turnout and they were a very mixed bunch of businesses, I was delighted.
“The straw polls that we are doing by contacting businesses and discussing with them, seems to indicate that we should be able to have the BID passed in both the criteria.”
The next stage of the BID will go to a ballot for local businesses. Opening on June 16 and closing on 14 July, business will have a month to reply to the ballot and the BID will go ahead of its successful in two areas; a majority vote and over 51% of the total rateable value agreeing.
Williams added: “The great thing is the business that aren’t jewellers are really excited and delighted, without exception, to be in London’s historic jewellery quarter. It’s all very positive, I came away last night thinking it’s been a two-year uphill push but we are now almost there.”
He also announced further plans to launch a ‘working jeweller’ evening, which he hopes will help communication with bench jewellers and grow their businesses, while at the same time giving them a voice on the BID.