News Update from Midtown BID CEO, Debbie Akehurst
3rd September, 2020
As we enter what will be a significant month for our district, and indeed London as a whole, the next few days will display whether a meaningful return of the office community is now taking place or if working from home continues to be in operation for the majority of office based businesses.  

We are however, keen to see businesses return and are working to make sure that the Midtown area is as safe as it can be for that return. We want to see the vibrancy of the Midtown area once again, that will be good for your business, good for London and good for the wider economy.  

The crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in extraordinary times, the bravery and sacrifices of NHS and other key frontline workers during this time has been outstanding and an inspiration to all.  

Midtown BID Member businesses and organisations have also responded by displaying a collectiveness and agility that in many cases has been truly remarkable as highlighted in our Thank You Midtown social media campaign.

The Midtown BID Board and Executive Management continue to focus our priorities and objectives in order to do absolutely everything and anything within our abilities to assist, advise and support our Members throughout these times and have developed our Covid-19: R. I. S. E Strategy to work not just towards recovery but with the purpose and objective of renewing and improving our district as we emerge from the pandemic and look to the future.  


Part of our renewal strategy includes an outline vision for Ground Floor Use. With the consequences of COVID-19 falling hard on the retail and hospitality sectors many businesses may not be returning to our district, resulting in unoccupied units. We want to work with our landowners and occupiers to reactivate these spaces for our business and residential community.    We are currently engaging with local authorities on this initiative and also invite members to put forward usage ideas as well property owners or occupiers who have empty premises that they may be able to offer temporarily as part of a pilot project.  


Our daily Security Patrols – launched at the outset of lockdown in March – continue to operate whilst many buildings remain unoccupied and are working with the Metropolitan Police on their ‘Look up and Look Out’ prevent robbery campaign.    

This month sees the return of our on-street Ambassadors to assist visitors to the area. In addition, we have installed wayfinding signage at the Holborn gateway junction to provide speedy orientation and improve pedestrian flows.          


September will also see the launch of our district wide cleansing programme, the service will include daily litter collection and the jet washing of pavements, helping to make our district a cleaner and more welcoming place to return to work in and visit.          


The last quarter has seen us enter collaborations with Cross River Partnership and Wild West End – as part of our sustainability work.   Working with and supporting the wider Midtown community is one our priorities and to this end are one of the sponsors of this year’s Bloomsbury Festival, where the creativity and vibrancy of our district will be showcased to a national and international audience.          


Our work continues to be led serving our Member businesses throughout these challenging times and I remain at your disposal to discuss further the initiatives, projects and campaigns we are prioritising as well us the opportunity of hearing directly from individual Members about any business or sector specific issues and concerns that Midtown BID may be able to help resolve or bring to the attention of the relevant governmental authorities.