PaddingtonNow - #LoveLocal
First things first, what is a ‘BID’?
BID stands for Business Improvement Districts and they are business led partnerships that are created through a ballot process to provide services to local businesses. If utilised correctly BIDs can be a formidable tool for businesses within the BID capture area. For example, activities which allow the business community to team up with local authorities and improve the local trading environment.
Defined by the area of where the BID can operate, business rate payers in that area are all charged a tariff in addition to the business rates bill. The charge is then utilised by the board to develop various projects which help boost businesses within the BID vicinity.
The projects can be limitless in terms of offering, there is one sole requirement and that is to ensure that it must add to services provided by local authorities in the district. Improvements may include, but are not limited to, extra safety/security, cleansing and environmental measures.
Now we would like to introduce you to your local PaddingtonNow
Primarily PaddingtonNow exists to serve the needs of businesses in Paddington, addressing challenges with innovative and practical solutions focused upon topics that are most important to those who participate in the BID. The BID aims to act as the collective voice of Paddington, encouraging enrichment within the community and bringing businesses together in the process.
Reaffirmation of PaddingtonNow
At the beginning of November 2023 after a third successful term as a Business Improvement District it was time for the fourth vote, a vote which takes place every five years, to commence. To regain accreditation as a BID a majority must vote ‘YES’ in order for another five-year term can be confirmed and this has been the case for PaddingtonNow meaning that the next term will come to an end in 2028.
What PaddingtonNow does
PaddingtonNow, are predominantly a Business Improvement District but the BID also does a huge amount to support the local community in a multitude of ways. In terms of community engagement the BID put on several events throughout the year to encourage both business and local community engagement. We were lucky to be able to have a chat with Catherine McDowall, the Events and Marketing Manager, who gave us this snippet of insight to PaddingtonNow.
‘As well as events, we use print and digital marketing to highlight what Paddington has to offer; it’s fantastic food and drinks scene, incredible hotels and its passionate businesses. This year we welcomed Paddington Bear by BRICKLIVE to Norfolk Square Gardens over the Summer. The event attracted thousands to Paddington and we were proud to have a feature on BBC London news, which shone a light on our little corner of London to millions of Londoners.’
As part of their ‘Safety First’ campaign, the BID is committed to forming an open, safe and welcoming environment for businesses and locals alike. In order for an area like Paddington to thrive it is imperative that residents, workers and visitors all feel safe. PaddingtonNow aim to use their collective voice and strategic partnerships with key local organisations to drive positive change into the local environment.
The Community Safety Team
The Community Safety Team was established in 2018 to address concerns from members about the increasing levels of anti-social behaviour in the area.
Providing a uniformed Community Safety Team five days a week minimum for at least fourteen hours a day is one way in which PaddingtonNow aim to combat social disorder. The Community Safety Team deal with aggressive street begging, antisocial behaviour, crime of any kind, environmental issues, fly tipping and much more.
The team itself is made up of four professionals within the security industry, their job is to patrol all BID areas from Tuesday to Saturday from 9pm until 11pm, in order to add additional security to the local area dog patrols are funded by the BID to operate one weekend night a week from 8pm – 4am.
The Community Safety Teamwork with local Police, Council members, Outreach services and Property managers to monitor ongoing issues and deal with them when necessary.
Although not exclusive to the Paddington area the BID takes part in the Pub Watch Scheme, this project consists of a network of venues within Paddington that meet up on a quarterly basis to discuss issues of concern to the licensed trade.
The main contribution that PaddingtonNow offer is that they fund and manage an operational message system which allows members to communicate and important information via text.
PaddingtonNow create and distribute branded marketing materials ranging from beer mats to pocket safety guides to all of the businesses in the Paddington area with advice on how to assist in ways to remove crime from the vicinity.
Safety in our society
PaddingtonNow create, support and promote crucial safety driven campaigns such as The Women’s Night Safety Charter, Ask Angela and others to make sure that anyone in and around the Paddington area can feel safe whether you’re here for work, to live or just having a night on the town. Everyone in Paddington should feel welcome and included.
Greening & Cleaning
Clean streets are a necessity in today’s world, using plants and sustainable projects to develop the local area and encourage a positive change within the local community is a main focus of the BID. Implementing a healthier environment for all helps businesses with increased localised commercial enterprise and tourism.
A key aim is to promote Paddington as a green utopia in an otherwise grey city, a strong focus on being a pioneer if greening and sustainability initiatives in order to maintain a high standard that complies with RHS London in regard to London In Bloom competitions. The use of public funding is used to lessen the impact of new developments and prioritise projects that strengthen the natural environment including the Norfolk Square topiary butterflies garden and Sussex Gardens wildflower meadow. The BID actively campaigns against car idling and do what they can to promote sustainable travel options to improve the quality of air in London. The inclusion of the community is crucial when planning environmentally and sustainability themed events. The Christmas tree that is so beautifully presented annually is also provided by PaddingtonNow.
The BID provides additional street cleaning and pavement cleansing including treatments to repel oils and grease and remove graffiti, chewing gum and fly tipping.
Something that may not be known about the BID is that they were in fact the first BID in the country to envisage and deploy a commercial recycling scheme. This incidentally paved the way for other BIDs to follow their lead. The scheme itself has drastically reduced the amount of waste collection vehicles that operate in Paddington, which in turn lowers the areas carbon footprint offset.
With new technology appearing all the time it is important to the BID to seek out the newest and most inventive ways to combat waste and initiate said technology to make sure that as many materials as possible are recycled in accordance with the London Plan and London Environment Strategy.
Butterflies in Paddington
Elegant, graceful and bursting with colour and style, the butterfly is arguably one of the most delightful creatures on the planet and PaddingtonNow is pleased to welcome you to find out more about the two stunning topiary butterflies in Norfolk Square Gardens.
Encouraging a healthy environment has always been a top priority for PaddingtonNow. The Norfolk Square Butterfly Garden was created to improve biodiversity in Paddington and in doing so encourage better air quality for people to enjoy.
The garden was designed to be colourful and eye catching and attract more people, as well as butterflies! to enjoy the outdoor space in Norfolk Square Gardens. Nature is a healer and we wanted to give people another reason to sit outside and soak up the happy vibes.
At the same time, it was important to educate people on the importance of biodiversity and how nature can improve our quality of life. We wanted to once again shine a light on Paddington for its dedication to fostering a thriving local environment.
It was for these reasons the BID was able to secure funding for the project in 2020 through the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) with support from Westminster City Council and the Hyde Park Paddington Neighbourhood Forum.
The BID worked with Agrumi Bespoke Topiary to design the butterflies and plan the surrounding planting. We are also working with Big City Butterflies to encourage butterflies to the area and will continue to work with them over the coming years to monitor species and numbers through butterfly surveys.
London In Bloom
Taking part in London in Bloom not only shines a light on Paddington, it helps tackle everything from litter, graffiti and anti-social behaviour, through to conservation, sustainability and community empowerment.
The Sussex Gardens Wildflower Meadow
The wildflower meadow, which measures 10 metres by 4 metres, will improve biodiversity and air quality at a busy crossroad in Paddington by encouraging and preserving butterfly populations. Butterflies are a good indication of air quality because they need certain conditions to flourish.
The gorgeous meadow is part of the BID’s efforts to make Paddington a green oasis in the city, improving health and wellbeing as well as enhancing and enriching the environment for all to enjoy.
The meadow will be supported by an information board and will link already thriving butterfly populations in neighbouring Hyde Park to the Norfolk Square Gardens Topiary Butterfly Garden which was installed by the BID in April 2020, creating a ‘Butterfly Superhighway’ to help link up Paddington’s green spaces.
Establishing pathways gives butterflies a vaster habitat choice and with each project hosting different plants we should see increased numbers in the area. The BID will be supporting the projects by engaging the community on educational butterfly walks and events to help encourage people to care for the environment and butterfly populations.
After a successful application and discussions with Westminster CC, the BID received funding from the local councillors’ Ward budget to complete the project.
Destination Marketing & Promotion
Paddington is an amazing part of London, and there’s so much that goes on sometimes it’s hard to keep track. From the amazing bars and restaurants, to the outstanding hotels to all of the businesses and residents that make this area the vibrant melting pot of culture it truly is. PaddingtonNow is a conduit for everything that Paddington has to offer and advertises it with pride.
Through multiple types of communication that range from classic printed publications to various social media platforms to events the BIDs aim is to adopt an exciting, safe, and welcoming area for businesses to thrive in and for the community to feel settled in at the same time.
Here are just some of the ways in which the PaddingtonNow BID promotes the wonderful area of Paddington:
The printing and distribution of guides and publications aimed to aid the increasing hospitality and retail industries. Distribution of maps aimed at visitors are delivered to hotels, offices and even in Paddington station to help anyone who may not be familiar with the area. Creating connections through the delivery of networking events that are focused on inspiring conversation and collaboration between businesses. Newsletters and communications that have the latest information on what is happening in the local area, including activities, events, new developments, any road closures, or transport issues that may impact businesses are all included to help them make informed decisions. The BID also provides free wellbeing events for the local community including mental health awareness workshops and outdoor yoga sessions, which take place in Norfolk Square Gardens.
Events & Networking
Marketing and promotion are indeed important when running a BID but the only way you can really get local businesses and residents involved with each other and to help them get in touch with themselves is through events, which encourage networking. To make this happen PaddingtonNow host a variety of cultural, wellbeing and live entertainment events in the public realm to attract more people to Paddington and raise the profile of the area. A sense of community is really what makes the local area an extraordinary place so bringing the community together through a series of networking events on topics that matter to the locals is something that is deemed extremely important by the BID.
One of the key roles of a Business Improvement District is representation of the local businesses within the BID vicinity. However, it will only get you so far, PaddingtonNow are firm believers that businesses are in fact stronger as a collective unit. Whether it’s new developments, public realm projects or street infrastructure the BID is there to champion local businesses and ensure that their voices are heard. That’s why they provide an open forum in which businesses are able to discuss and raise concerns or issues with the sole purpose of lobbying these issues, so they are noted where necessary.
How local businesses help
The BID can only be successful in the area due to its prominent and vital relationships with businesses and government bodies, these can range from Westminster City Council to Transport for London, Metropolitan Police Service, The Mayor’s Office, Network Rail and much more. It is with these partnerships that PaddingtonNow is able to achieve what they do for the local community.
We were lucky enough to have a catch up with Chris Peers, BID Manager of PaddingtonNow to discuss his views in terms of input from PaddingtonNow and how exactly they do what they can in order to really put Paddington on the map.
‘The BID provides the hanging flower baskets, troughs and planters on Paddington’s main streets, a dedicated security team exclusive to the BID area, street cleaning and spot cleansing services and a commercial recycling package at considerable cost savings to members. We market Paddington as a destination through events, marketing and social media and most importantly we are a collective voice for businesses in Paddington. The success of the recent BID ballot to continue in to another 5-year term, is recognition of the vital role the BID plays in Paddington and our team remains committed to ensuring that Paddington continues to grow, economically, sustainably and as a key destination in the capital. We would like to extend a big thank you to London Town Hotels for its continued support of the BID’
With the success of the November ballot, we are happy to know that PaddingtonNow will be around until at least 2028. Over the course of the last fifteen years the change to the area has been staggering and the BID have been here through so much already that we personally cannot wait to see what they have in store for this profound area of the city.
We would like to thank Catherine and Chris for taking the time to sit down and have a chat with us and the rest of the BID team for all the hard work they do to make this area the best it can possibly be.
If you would like to know more about the BID then you can check out the website here: paddingtonnow.co.uk to keep up to date with all the happenings that they take part in all through our magnificent city. Alternatively you can go to: www.thisispaddington.com where you will be able to see what’s on in the area, this website is run with the Paddington Partnership and is a great source of information for all things Paddington.Book Now