Added on: 1st July, 2013
Orpington is looking ahead to a bright and prosperous future as the town completes it’s first few months as a Business Improvement District (BID) known as Orpington 1st. The business led initiative began in April and will help improve your town centre, making it a better place to work, visit and live, through a number of events, schemes and competitions.
The BID is financed through a mandatory levy paid by around 350 businesses and Orpington is now one of 150 BID's throughout the UK. Led by a board of these levy paying businesses, it is expected that Orpington 1st will invest over £1.25 million in the area over the next 5 years.
“Working together will enable collective savings and efficiencies for our businesses and will allow us to have one united voice, advocating on our behalf to make sure we are all represented to our best advantage” said Chairman Martin Price.
Theme groups have already been set up focussing on four important aspects of the town and the the focus for customers is top on the BID’s agenda:
- The '1st for Customers' theme group will look at boosting promotional activity with the Orpington 1st loyalty card scheme and a new, interactive website for information about shopping, eating out, events and more to help attract visitors and new and exciting businesses.
- The '1st for Look and Feel' will be working hard to improve the look and feel of the town by tackling the problem of vacant units, working with the police and other partners to improve security and develop a comprehensive plan for the town centre.
- Car parking, signage and sustainable travel will be steered by the '1st for Access' theme groups who will be looking to create awareness and accessibility for walking and cycling within the town.
- The aim of the '1st for Business' will be to help deliver savings on business costs such as utility and stationary, and will also work with businesses towards improving the retail and shopping experience for customers. Members will also develop apprenticeship programmes in conjunction with the local college.
The first annual general meeting will take place in September 2013.
But the BID and it's groups aren't the only exciting new changes to start happening...
The Loyalty Card:
Improvements have already been made to Orpington’s popular Loyalty Card which is set to grow following a commitment from Orpington 1st to expand the scheme. To date a total of 47 businesses throughout the town have signed up and are offering some fantastic discounts to the 4,000 people already in possession of a Loyalty Card, with a further 10,000 being produced. The card itself is free to all and sponsored by the Walnuts Shopping centre and Orpington 1st.
Cards can be picked up from the library in town or from The Gift Outlet at The Walnuts Shopping Centre, with shoppers asked to include their email address on the registration form so they can be kept up to date with all the latest special offers.
You can also register online at the Orpington 1st website.
To make the most of your card check the website for up-to-date offers and keep an eye out for the window stickers in participating businesses.
Plus don't miss out on the many discounts from national retailers in the town centre. Bon Marche and Cargo are offering 10% off all purchases, Wetherspoons are offering 20% off their main meals and Café Panacea are offering 10% off drinks. If you are planning a day out you can get 25% off car hire at AVA Group or if you're moving house, receive 10% off standard sales and letting fees at Bairstow Eves.
Orpington's Finest Competition:
If you have a favourite business in Orpington or know a particular shop, restaurant or business that gives you unrivalled customer service then this is your chance to vote for Orpington's Finest businesses. Now in it's sixth year and running from 10th July until 7th September 2013, you can vote for your favourite business in the following categories
- Customer service - Food & Drink
- Customer Service - Retail/ business
- Individual/ Community group contribution to Orpington
- Most environmentally friendly store
- Best Customer Service
Thank the local businesses that have giving you amazing customer service and vote online via the Orpington 1st website, picking up a voting card from any shop on the High Street or via the Orpington Magazine or the Biggin Hill News.
Votes will be counted after the close of the competition on 7th September and the winners will be announced at the Orpington 1st meeting AGM on 11th September.
For more information about the BID or any of the exciting new changes visit www.orpington1st.co.uk.