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Stratford Town Centre Forum and Stratford Original BID
Formed in 1992 as a sub-committee of Stratford City Challenge, Stratford Town Centre Forum for years represented Stratford’s town centre businesses and stakeholders. Its Board, the Stratford Town Centre Steering Group, was responsible for setting the organisation’s agendas and objectives, and for flagging up the latest developments.
In 2010 the forum played a very active role in consultations on the Stratford Masterplan, urban Initiatives, the Stratford town centre public realm projects, and the Thames Water flood alleviation programme. Stratford Town Centre Forum has also been at the heart of discussions concerning the future of the Stratford Centre, the impact of the Olympics and Paralympics, and the benefits of attaining Purple Flag status for the neighbourhood (the urban equivalent of the Blue Flag mark for beaches).
Following a successful campaign to create the Stratford Original Business Improvement District (BID), the work of The Stratford Town Centre Forum steering group was subsumed into the Stratford Original BID in April 2015. Stratford Original will invest over £1.2m in Stratford Town Centre between 2015 and 2020 raised by a small annual levy on businesses in the area.
The BID proposal was put together following research into the issues that are most important for Stratford businesses. It champions improvements in three key themes:
- Doing business – including giving Stratford businesses new opportunities to work together to cut costs using joint buying power.
- Promoting Stratford – promoting the area’s unique identity and encourage visitors and residents to explore and spend in Stratford.
- Making the town centre feel safer and more welcoming