Clapham Junction’s got its first Christmas tree in a while, thanks to the The Junction BID (that’s Business Improvement District) – an organisation supported and funded entirely by local traders, aiming to improve the overall success of the town centre. The BID is also behind the update to the Lavender Hill traders’ Christmas lights, one of which is in our photo, as part of a refresh of all the lights in the area (which has freed up some of the older ones to cover the far eastern end of Lavender Hill). And of course, the new colour-changing LED lighting on the parapet round Debenhams which have been the standout feature (albeit not in our daytime photo above).
The Junction BID is quite new (February 2020 update: the Junction website is now live) – having only really got going this summer – and its creation took a lot of time and effort (as reported on in detail over the years by the Clapham Junction Action Group). To get the official go ahead, it had to pass quite tough votes among the people who would, down the line, have to fund its activities. Local traders have to agree that by pooling their individual efforts, there will be an overall benefit to them and the town centre as a whole. Now that it has launched it represents the combined efforts of well over 400 businesses in St John’s Road, Northcote Rd, St John’s Hill and of course Lavender Hill.
The BID will be able to do things (like the lighting) that local businesses can’t do individually, and that the local government is no loner really funded to provide. Several of our neighbouring town centres also have BIDs, including Clapham, Putney Tooting, Wandsworth and (one of the biggest and earliest) Victoria. This new lighting scheme really builds on the previous Lavender Hill traders’ Christmas lights (which date back quite some years), and are a good sign of what the new BID can deliver.