Kingston First contract successfully renewed for another five years

Kingston First recorded its highest ever turnout for a ballot (65%), with 548 businesses and organisations voting in favour of renewing their contract.

Established in 2005, Kingston First, Business Improvement District (BID) is a not-for-profit organisation responsible for delivering a number of initiatives to support the commercial success of the business community in Kingston upon Thames.

Cllr Malcolm Self, Portfolio Holder for Planning Policy and Economic Development, said: 

“Kingston First has played an integral role in positioning the riverside town as a retail, leisure and commercial hub. Kingston is now the third biggest shopping destination in London, with over 500 stores, two shopping centres, a bustling marketplace and a variety of vibrant, independent shops. The results speak for themselves, businesses see the BID providing real benefits and ensuring that the town centre continues to thrive for workers, residents and visitors.”

Kirsten Henly, Chief Executive of Kingston First, commented:

“The positive results of Kingston First’s renewal reflect the fantastic work of the dedicated team we have here at Kingston First. We know the next five years will be pivotal for Kingston and we are committed to working with our local businesses and partners to improve and expand on the projects and services we currently deliver, whilst exploring new ways to ensure the commercial success of the town. We would like to thank all of the businesses and organisations who have showed their support for our valuable role in the community, and we look forward to working together as we enter a new decade.”

Democratically elected by the businesses of the town centre, the BID deliver projects and services that ensure Kingston is an attractive environment to do business in, as well as an exciting destination for people to visit, shop, learn, work and live in. Businesses and organisations operating in the BID area vote to pay 1% levy on the rateable value of their property to see the projects and services delivered in line with a five-year business plan. You can read more about Kingston First’s plans on their website:

The 2019 ballot was carried out independently by Electoral Reform Services. The declaration of results can be found on the council’s website:

Kingston First was founded in 2005 and was the first BID launched in the UK.

A Business Improvement District (BID) is a business-led and business-funded body formed to improve a defined geographical area. A BID can only be formed following consultation and a ballot in which businesses vote on a BID Proposal for the area. The ballot is run by the local authority or outsourced by the local authority to a third party. All businesses eligible to pay the levy are balloted for a minimum of 28 days. In accordance with UK legislation, Business Improvement Districts operate on a fixed term of up to five years and must renew their status at the end of every term.