May 14, 2014
Guests gathered at the world famous Savoy Hotel to raise a glass to London’s newest and largest Business Improvement District (BID) as it embarks on an ambitious delivery plan.
On Tuesday 29 April the launch of The Northbank BID brought together partners, local businesses and supporters, as well as one or two famous faces, to mark this important milestone for the area. Following a resounding ‘yes’ ballot last year, The Northbank BID business plan is already being implemented with significant transformational changes to the area taking shape.
More than 200 guests were present in the stunning Abraham Lincoln room at The Savoy Hotel where they were greeted by The Northbank BID Ambassadors. Guests were then transported back in time with a 1920s themed party complete with music from the era, dancers and even a ‘Roaring 20s’ inspired drink with a bespoke ‘Northbank Blue’ cocktail.
The Northbank BID’s chief executive officer, Ruth Duston, opened proceedings with a warm welcome and an inspiring speech about ambitions for the Northbank in the coming months and years. With The Northbank BID galvanising businesses to work together, efforts will be focused on encouraging economic growth and investment, enhancing the public realm and promoting the area as a key destination in the capital.
At the launch, acting chairman of The Northbank BID and managing director of the Savoy Hotel, Kiaran MacDonald, explained the benefits for businesses supporting The Northbank BID’s programme and how being part of The Northbank BID provides businesses with a bigger platform, and a stronger voice to implement change which will support commercial success.
High profile political support came from the deputy mayor of London for business and enterprise, Kit Malthouse, who spoke of the important role BIDs are playing in the ongoing success and growth of London as a global city. Lord Mayor of Westminster, Councillor Sarah Richardson, highlighted how the six BIDs across Westminster are bringing the public and private sectors closer together than ever, delivering tangible change in many areas across the borough.
The speeches were rounded off in an ‘Absolutely Fabulous’ way by actress Joanna Lumley who informed guests about the wonderful new Thames crossing proposal, The Garden Bridge, which plans to open in 2018. Giving better connectivity between the north and south, The Garden Bridge is largely supported by businesses that recognise the transformational impact the new crossing will have on public realm in the Northbank, adding to the work being undertaken by the BID.
Before the evening was brought to a close, there was yet more excitement as it was announced that The Northbank BID had become a Guinness World Record holder. Earlier that day, hundreds of people watched with tensions running high in Trafalgar Square as The Northbank BID Ambassadors competed to set a world record for “The fastest time to shake 100 hands by an individual’. It was left to Guinness World Records adjudicator, Mark McKinley to deliver the official result – and there was much celebration when Eduardo Fuentes was announced as the new record holder with a time of one minute and forty-five seconds.
So we’re off, The Northbank BID has launched and we are all excited about what will be achieved and celebrated in the coming years. Knowing the potential of this fascinating area, and certainly if the success of the launch event is anything to go by, we’re in for some amazing times – and who knows perhaps more world records.
Click the video link here to watch the successful record attempt.