As a champion for business Marble Arch London BID recognises the vital role that sense of community plays in the district. Businesses sit alongside thriving residential communities to the west and east of Edgware Road as well as Edgware Road itself. We work closely with resident groups, Amenity Societies and Neighbourhood Forums in every aspect of our work.
More than 30 charities and social enterprises have their offices and / or deliver their services within the immediate vicinity of the BID. Over 700 children and young people attend school within the Marble Arch London BID area. A further 11,000 children and young people attend school or college within a 15-minute walk of the BID area.
Knitting together community and business fosters consensus, helps us collaborate and ensures that the BID can act as a collective voice when required.
Training and Briefings
The BID brings members together on a regular basis through our free training courses. These have grown in both popularity and range provided over our first term. More than 400 employees across 145 BID members have benefited since 2015, including staff from offices, schools, local retailers, hotels, restaurants and cafes, landlords, charities and banks.
Course subject matter has been extensive covering Project Griffin, Project Argus, Fire Marshall, First Aid at Work, GDPR, Managing Conflict, Business Crime, Brexit for SMEs, Business Continuity, Mental Health Awareness, Brexit and EU Employment, HR Management for Beginners and Supporting Customers with a Learning Disability.
During the Covid-19 pandemic we quickly switched gears and provided a range of targeted webinars covering the Furlough Scheme, Insurance, Cyber Safety and a new online Fire Marshal series. We also held BID-wide discussions on Recovery, Social Distancing and an Ask the BID Q&A session for all members.
We will continue to plan and tailor our future schedule into the BID’s second term, responding to the current climate, including our existing range as well as new topics, through both online and face to face provision. Members now see the BID as the go-to body for their accredited training needs, as the workload that accompanies organising these sessions is taken away from members’ busy schedules and the cost savings are welcomed by all BID members.
"The BID provides an excellent training series and have bent over backwards to accommodate our colleagues’ training needs."
Starr Fasaye, William Hill, Edgware Road
Marble Arch Community Programme
Our members are actively engaged in supporting the community through their participation in the Marble Arch Community Programme. Since the launch of the programme in 2016, the BID has supported 34 Marble Arch member companies to build relationships with more than 20 local schools, charities, and social enterprises. To date, Marble Arch businesses have donated over 1,000 hours of volunteering to the local community.
We have achieved this by organising more than 100 one-off team challenges and providing long-term skilled volunteering opportunities for members’ employees. We continue to successfully channel donations and have supported 19 companies to donate to good causes. Since 2018 the BID has engaged 50 colleagues and 272 local students through our annual Silver Sunday and Great British Spring Clean events which bring together the Marble Arch community.
Our strong relationships with charities and community groups in Marble Arch enabled us to quickly mobilise during the Covid-19 pandemic and establish a virtual volunteering programme, including quizzes, careers seminars, IT support and weekly telephone discussion groups. These activities provided vital companionship to local residents, whilst offering Marble Arch employees meaningful outlets to channel their energy, time and skills – with associated benefits for mental health and wellbeing. We brought together nine local schools to help create a rainbow themed thank you mural for the 200 key workers staying at the Hilton London Metropole. We also connected charities and schools with hotels, venues and offices, distributing surplus food, clothing and toiletries.
"The Community Programme has enabled us to reach out and make a difference locally – both before, and crucially during, the Covid-19 crisis."
Sarah Garrigan, Stylus Media, Chapel Street
Ongoing conversations with Marble Arch companies and our community partners demonstrate that there remains an appetite for virtual volunteering beyond lockdown and into our second term. The pandemic has greatly impacted the way our businesses work – with many not returning to 100% office capacity until well into 2021, and a potentially permanent increase in the number of employees working from home. Many of our service users are vulnerable and conversations with them indicate that they may not feel confident to participate in larger events for some time to come. Following this feedback, the Community Programme will move forward with a blended approach of both virtual and in-person volunteering opportunities, ensuring we meet the needs of the community whilst enabling Marble Arch employees to use their skills and donate their time to volunteering activities.
"We’re very grateful to be part of the BID, organising donations to St Mary’s from local businesses and supporting our own staff and visitors by keeping the area safe."
Ian Lush, Imperial Health Charity, Edgware Road
As we move forward, emphasis will be placed on skilled opportunities allowing colleagues to showcase their abilities and maintain their connection to the local area, whether in-person or remotely, supporting schools and colleges, jobseekers and charity partners. Our ever-popular team challenges will play an essential role in rebuilding morale, as teams adjust to working together again.
Since 2018 we have been celebrating the amazing people whose jobs we often take for granted, the people who keep our area moving behind the scenes. Our Hidden Heroes series features over 35 members of the community who have shared their stories. Heroes from schools, hotels, Westminster Council, offices, churches, shops, construction companies, charities, local volunteers and resident associations, British Transport Police and London Underground feature, with even the local vet telling their story.
Hidden Heroes is a way of connecting business and community, recognising the critical role every member in the district plays and building a greater understanding between sectors and communities. We are looking forward to continuing to celebrate our diverse community through Hidden Heroes in the BID’s second term.
Marble Arch London BID advocates for the entire district, representing our members on key issues affecting the area and their operations. Our knowledgeable team means that we can provide our members with the latest insight and intelligence, through our national and regional networks, helping businesses to navigate the complex and ever-changing legislative environment.
During the Covid-19 pandemic the BID mobilised quickly, creating a Covid Resource Centre with real-time updates, intelligence, government advice and downloads. Updated at least once a day this became the go-to resource for businesses and the community, as everyone tried to keep abreast of rapidly changing lockdown measures, travel advice and sector-by-sector guidelines. To get timely information to businesses we moved to a weekly newsletter, ensuring that all BID members were able to benefit from frequent and accurate information.
We speak up for local businesses to ensure local needs are considered by Westminster City Council, Transport for London, the Metropolitan Police, the Mayor of London, and on occasions national government. We also partner with our neighbouring BIDs to lobby jointly and amplify our impact, through a single Westminster BIDs public affairs contract.
We have written to central government on issues such as pedicab regulation, business rates reform, planning proposals and clean air strategies. We have provided written responses on proposals from the Mayor of London on issues such as priorities for policing and crime, transport, buses, the pedestrianisation of Oxford Street, the Ultra-Low Emission Zone, the congestion charging zone, the environment, culture, night time economy and the London Plan.
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. We have provided responses to Westminster City Council on issues such as rough sleeping, shisha, licencing, biodiversity, busking, enforcement, Oxford Street, and the City Plan.
We continue to lobby on behalf of the area to maintain Edgware Road and Marble Arch as a priority with public authorities to ensure it gets the appropriate focus, approach and resources it deserves and to improve the area as a thriving business location.