Stratford Business Improvement District taking shape

The Stratford Centre is included in the BID

The Stratford Centre is included in the BID - Credit: Archant

Businesses in Stratford can take advantage of discounted waste removal and utility services among others things as the area’s Business Improvement District (BID) begins to take shape.

Centring around Broadway, Great Eastern Road and the High Street, the area runs from Rick Roberts Way to Maryland rail station, affecting more than 250 separate businesses.

Of the 101 companies that registered their opinion in last year’s ballot, 70 per cent voted in favour, with the BID coming into effect in April this year.

One of the first noticeable results of that decision is the opportunity for businesses to access to potentially cheaper commodities through a deal with Meercat Associates.

Companies can also take advantage of discounted trade waste services through First Mile, offering savings of up to 20 per cent while they will also be given free membership with vehicle rental service Zipcar.

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Although most of the 10 central pledges are yet to be delivered, BID manager Gianluca Rizzo, 32, insists the most important thing is getting the foundations in place at this stage.

“This is the most important time for the Stratford bid, because it’s essential we get the basics right,” he said. “It’s just like starting a business.”

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While the BID covers a very specific area, any businesses with a E20 or E15 postcode can join in the scheme for a fee of up to £100.

Among the promises yet to be realised, wardens will be employed to welcome customers and visitors to the area, while assisting with the council and police officers.

“The perception of crime in Stratford is actually much worse than the crime itself,” added Mr Rizzo.

“The wardens will just be friendly faces walking around the town centre, helping out visitors and town centre users.

“Importantly they’ll be flexible, so when West Ham are playing at home or there’s something going on at the Olympic Park we’ll make sure we have more people working.”

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