Marble Arch London BID, our First Term in Summary
Prior to publishing our Renewal Proposal, we’ve summarised here the BID’s main projects, services and achievements in our first term (2016-2021). The full Renewal Proposal for our second term (2021-2026) will be published in December 2020.
- Junctions and Crossings: We have been central to persuading TfL to add green man crossings the length of Edgware Road. Most recently George Street was completed. Only two junctions remain and we hope to see these completed before the end of the financial year.
- Subways: The Joe Strummer subway has been closed below the Marylebone Flyover and the ramps will be filled in in the next 12 months to create rain gardens. Thames Water are funding this with TfL. Find out more here. We’re also in the process of working with TfL to infill the Green Street subway ramps, below Park Lane.
- Public Realm Schemes: We are leading small scale public realm schemes in partnership with the local Hyde Park Paddington Neighbourhood Forum, through Neighbourhood CIL. For instance, we submitted proposals to improve the corner of Edgware Road and Sussex Gardens and add green infrastructure at Burwood Place. Read about the two gateway schemes here. Larger public realm schemes include Marble Arch, which will transform the area into a high-quality, safe civic space to use and travel through.
- Footfall Counters: We have a network of counters across the district to help us track seasonal changes, they have proved vital in understanding which sections of Edgware Road are recovering after lockdown, and which sections are still experiencing very low footfall. We also use these to make the case for public realm interventions. Find out more here.
- Commercial Insights: Marble Arch London BID has commissioned an Edgware Road Insights Study due to be completed in January. This allows us to in effect ‘zone’ the stretches of the main retail district, but also look at vertical and horizontal supply chains. All sectors have been embraced in this, from offices to retail and hospitality/hotels.
- Cleansing and Local Area ‘Snagging’: Westminster Council are responsible for cleansing but from time we do undertake spot cleansing and hot washing, especially in areas where there is a bedding down problem. For instance, we launched a programme of pavement hot washing when shops reopened in June after lockdown. Other examples of local area snagging can be seen here, where the BID was successful in relocating a street sweeper bin moved. We have a good, direct line into Highways and Cleansing.
- Tube Stations: These are key gateways to the area, and we’ve teamed up with London Underground to improve the wider setting, with a large legible London map at Edgware Road station and a new installation in the subway from the ticket hall at Marble Arch station.
- Marble Arch Street Team: Our Street Team (Monday to Saturday 8am to 10pm) has become the go-to resource for business and residents in the area. They have won numerous awards and provide a visible, reassuring presence on the street, offering practical support to shops, restaurants, hotels, banks, schools, offices, cafes, and the emergency services. Have a look at our Street Team Infographic.
- Business Crime Group: The BID runs a quarterly business crime group, which the police attend. The format can range from presentations on specific problems to general updates and surgery style sessions for businesses.
- An Intelligence-Led Approach: The BID’s membership of Safer West End, a local business crime reduction partnership, provides a GDPR compliant online intelligence sharing platform that allows our security team and some member businesses to log information and intelligence about individuals committing regular thefts and anti-social behaviour in our area.
- Security and Counter Terrorism Training: We offer a host of training, some via the local police and other via specialist counter terrorism teams. We’re currently rolling out post room training due to a recent rise in suspicious packages arriving in post rooms.
- Homelessness, Rough Sleeping, Begging: The Marble Arch BID Street Team record all of this behaviour, taking photographs where appropriate and recording the locations. We use this evidence in our daily reports to the City Council. Find out more here. We also fund a dedicated Neighbourhood Co-ordinator at the Council, and feed in all intelligence to the Council for joint operations to deal with encampments and begging.
- Security Alerts: We publish security updates and advance notice of marches and protests on our website here, and issue email alerts to our members.
- Volunteering: We have an extensive community programme of volunteering, supporting companies to volunteer for local schools and charities, such as Multiplex and Alfresco Software. At the moment we have a hybrid offer, so both in-person and virtual volunteering is supported.
- Donations: The BID funnels donations, making them happen. Gail’s food is currently going to a local women’s centre three times a week, delivered by our street team.
- Hidden Heroes: We celebrate the work of people who keep the area moving behind the scenes, it’s a great connector and has huge engagement levels on social media. Have a look at our Hidden hero series.
- Training: We provide a range of training courses designed with compliance, Health & Safety, security and customer service in mind. These courses are free for Marble Arch London BID members. You can see our upcoming training courses here.
- Local Resident Societies: At a more local level we are an active member of our two Neighbourhood Forums (Hyde Park Paddington and Marylebone) on either side of Edgware Road and continue to work closely with local resident societies to ensure our business needs are considered equally alongside those of residents.
Promotion and Heritage
- Eating Out: ‘Taste of Marble Arch‘ has proven a popular tool for engaging with businesses and attracting visitors to the area’s dining and leisure quarter. We refresh it yearly and since its launch in 2016 we have distributed over 100,000 copies to local hotels and offices. We continually update our digital Eating Out Guide with over 100 local restaurants and cafes.
- Promoting our Members’ Assets: We showcase our members’ assets on our website and social media channels. We also generate press coverage for our members and the Marble Arch and Edgware Road area.
- Hotel & Venues Group: The BID’s Hotels and Venues Group brings the operations and marketing managers from our hotels and venues together to share insights on current challenges, recent successes and to raise awareness of events from some of the BID’s largest levy payers.
- Press: We have worked on several campaigns such as the Marble Arch Pride Illumination campaign, which received UK and European coverage with a collective audience of over 11.5 million.
- Events: Our events drive footfall to our businesses, generate press coverage for our members and position Marble Arch as an event space. We brought the award-winning musical ‘Five Guys Named Moe’ to the bespoke Marble Arch Theatre in August 2017 with a twice-extended run until March 2018. We celebrated Pride with Westminster City Council and English Heritage by lighting Marble Arch in Pride colours. We also run themed food tours, where colleagues from local businesses have tasters in a selection of local eateries.
- Christmas Lights:We installed 46 Christmas lights the length of Edgware Road, from the Marylebone Flyover to Marble Arch for the first time in 2016 and every year since then. Local school children always switch on our Christmas Lights.
- Story of Marble Arch: We teamed up with English Heritage to produce our heritage booklet, ‘The Story of Marble‘, was launched in 2016 and refreshed and reprinted in 2019. Over 20,000 copies have been distributed free to hotels and local businesses to date.
- Culture Blog: Our Culture Blog features nearly 80 stories about the businesses and historical figures that have made this area their home, and tales of the inspiration behind public art and memorials.
Collective Voice and Advocacy
- Policy and Consultation: The BID provides a voice for businesses, and responds on a host of policy and operational issues locally. We’re currently responding on Licencing and Busking consultations, and we do this by canvassing our members through themed groups, or based on location. We have provided responses to Westminster City Council on issues such as rough sleeping, shisha, biodiversity, busking, enforcement, Oxford Street, and the City Plan.
- Problem-solving: We take on case work, and can help businesses sometimes by simply putting them in touch with each other.
- Campaigns: We also lobby by teaming up with our fellow BIDs across Westminster, on things like hospitality, business support, tax-free shopping etc.
- Crisis and Recovery: During the Covid-19 pandemic the BID mobilised quickly, creating a Covid-19 Resource Centre with real-time updates, intelligence, government advice and downloads. Updated at least once daily this remains the go-to resource for businesses and community, as everyone tries to keep abreast of rapidly changing lockdown measures, travel advice and sector-by-sector guidelines. We receive alerts from the Cabinet Office, Westminster Council, and trade bodies such as UK Hospitality, and we ensure information is tailored and targeted.