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Royal Tunbridge Wells Together
Business Improvement District

WHO WE ARE

Our Mission

The Mission of RTW Together is to support our BID Members through projects and initiatives that make a valued impact.

Our first business plan (as below) identified 4 themes which were directed by initial consultation. Since then we have evolved as needed for example taking a very different lead during Covid.

 

Recently we have created a second business plan to cover the period 2024-2029 which follows similar principles and activity to term 1 but builds on the knowledge and experience gained.

The BID Area

The Business Improvement District is a defined area of Royal Tunbridge Wells town centre as shown below. Businesses that are responsible for a property in this area with a business rateable value over £15k will be automatic BID Members and contribute an annual levy based on the rateable value of the premises.

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ALBERT STREET ● BEDFORD TERRACE ● BEECH STREET ● BELGRAVE ROAD ● BELGROVE ● BERKELEY ROAD ● BEULAH ROAD ● BISHOPS DOWN ● BISHOPS DOWN ROAD ● BOYNE PARK ● BROAD OAK CLOSE ● BROADWATER LANE ● BROADWATER RISE ● CADOGAN GARDENS ● CALVERLEY PARK ● CALVERLEY PARK CRESCENT ● CALVERLEY ROAD ● CALVERLEY STREET ● CAMDEN ROAD ● CASTLE ROAD ● CASTLE STREET ● CHAPEL PLACE ● CHRISTCHURCH AVENUE ● CHURCH ROAD ● CIVIC WAY ● CLANRICARDE GARDENS ● CLANRICARDE ROAD ● CLARENCE ROAD ● CLARENCE ROW ● COACH AND HORSES PASSAGE ● COMMERCIAL ROAD ● CRESCENT ROAD ● CULVERDEN STREET ● CUMBERLAND GARDENS ● CUMBERLAND WALK ● CUMBERLAND YARD ● DALE STREET ● DUDLEY ROAD ● EDEN ROAD ● ERIDGE ROAD ● FIR TREE ROAD ● FOOTPATH FROM VICTORIA ROAD TO END OF ALBERT STREET ● FRANT ROAD ● FROG LANE ● GARDEN ROAD ● GARDEN STREET ● GOODS STATION ROAD ● GROSVENOR PARK ● GROSVENOR ROAD ● GROSVENOR ROAD PASSAGEWAY ● GROSVENOR WALK ● GROVE AVENUE ● GROVE HILL ROAD ● GROVER STREET ● HANOVER ROAD ● HIGH STREET ● HILL STREET ● HOWARD GARDENS ● HUNGERSHALL PARK ● HURSTWOOD LANE ● INNER LONDON ROAD ● KING CHARLES SQUARE ● KIRKDALE ROAD ● LANGTON ROAD ● LANSDOWNE ROAD ● LANTHORNE MEWS ● LIME HILL ROAD ● LINDEN CLOSE ● LINDEN GARDENS ● LINDEN PARK ROAD ● LITTLE MOUNT SION ● LONDON ROAD ● LONSDALE GARDENS ● MAJOR YORKS ROAD ● MANOR PARK● MARKET STREET ● MEADOW ROAD ● MERCER STREET ● MOLYNEUX PARK GARDENS ● MOLYNEUX PARK ROAD ● MONSON ROAD ● MONSON WAY ● MONTACUTE GARDENS ● MONTACUTE ROAD ● MOUNT EDGECOMBE ROAD ● MOUNT EPHRAIM ● MOUNT EPHRAIM ROAD ● MOUNT PLEASANT AVENUE ● MOUNT PLEASANT ROAD ● MOUNT SION ● MOUNTFIELD GARDENS ● MOUNTFIELD ROAD ● NEVILL PARK ● NEVILL STREET ● NEVILL TERRACE ● NEWTON ROAD ● NORMAN ROAD ● ROCK VILLA ROAD ● ROSEHILL WALK ● ROYAL CHASE ● ROYAL VICTORIA PLACE ● SHOWFIELDS ROAD ● SOMERVILLE GARDENS ● SOUTH GROVE ● ST JAMES ROAD ● STATION APPROACH ● STONE STREET ● SUSSEX MEWS ● SUTHERLAND ROAD ● THE COMMON ● THE PANTILES ● TUNNEL ROAD ● TWINING CLOSE ● UNDERWOOD RISE ● UPPER GROSVENOR ROAD ● VALE AVENUE ● VALE ROAD ● VICTORIA ROAD ● WARWICK PARK ● WARWICK ROAD ● WHITE BEAR PASSAGE ● WOOD STREET ● YORK ROAD

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is my business part of the BID?
    If your business is responsible for a commercial property - situated within the BID Area as shown in the map below where this is also a list of included streets - that has a business rateable value greater than £15k then your business will be a BID Member. If you have any questions or uncertainties, please contact the BID team who will be happy to help
  • Can I influence the work the BID carries out?
    Yes, absolutely. Levy payers are actively encouraged to engage with the BID, provide feedback and suggestions and get involved in our projects and plans. You can do this through contacting the BID Director by any of the ways listed in the contact us section. You can also sign up to our Newsletter, join our RTW Together WhatsApp Community and follow our Social Media as an opportunity to keep in touch with what we do. If you are potentially interested in becoming regularly involved, take a read of our Board Member pack (listed in the board section) to learn more about joining the team that steer the direction of the BID.
  • Can the BID help promote my business?
    Yes, certainly. RTW Together offers free promotion for levy paying businesses within the town centre, across our social media platforms, town guides and in various local and regional promotional campaigns. Businesses will naturally get coverage but please engage with us to maximise your potential support via marketing@rtwtogether.com or contacting us on any social media channels.
  • Is the BID part of the Council?
    No, the BID is not a department of, nor managed or operated by the Council. Whilst we work closely with local authorities and partner organisations such as KCC, TWBC, Safe Town Partnership and Kent Police, the RTW Together Business Improvement District is an independent body, representing businesses in the town centre. The BID is non-political. The Business Improvement District delivers projects and services in addition to those already provided by Tunbridge Wells Borough Council - it does not carry out those which fall to the remit of TWBC or KCC. A representative of TWBC sits upon the board of RTW Together, alongside a senior officer who attends in an observational role.
  • Is the BID levy payment mandatory?
    Yes. Businesses receive an annual levy bill, from 2019 to 2024 - this payment is mandatory. There is no way to opt out of the Business Improvement District. February 2024 will provide prospective future BID Members with an opportunity to vote on whether to renew the BID and the associated levy. The levy is collected on behalf of RTW Together by Tunbridge Wells Borough Council.
  • Are there other BIDs?
    Yes, there are over 350 Business Improvement Districts across the country. Kent has two other BIDs, in Canterbury and Maidstone. RTW Together is a member of British BIDs.

Our Team & Governance.

We have a small but efficient core team at RTW Together but also work with many other partners as you can see below.

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Alex Green

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Suzie Lewis

Finance & Operations

accounts@rtwtogether.com

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In recruitment

Join The Team

RTW Together are currently recruiting for the following vacancies:-

Project Officer

Applications are currenly being reviewed

Board of Directors

A board of voluntary Directors oversee the work of the BID team. The board is comprised of business representatives who fairly represent the geography, various sectors and types of business across the town centre. They attend regular full board and committee meetings where they direct strategy and support the BID achieve its goals of supporting local RTW businesses.

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Alex Greig

CHAIR

Owner, Fuggles Beer Cafe

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Nicola Paffard

BOARD MEMBER

Partner, Cripps LLP

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Clare Waller

BOARD MEMBER

Owner, Jeremy's Home Stores

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Alexia Taylor

VICE CHAIR

Walsh Brothers

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Peter Allinson

BOARD MEMBER

Owner, Whirligig Toys

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Joseph Oates

BOARD MEMBER,

Partner, CooperBurnett

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Justine Rutland

TWBC APPOINTED BOARD MEMBER

Cabinet Member, TWBC Cllr

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Richard Simm

BOARD MEMBER

Co-owner Fonthill Pubs & Director, The Forum

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Jenny Kitchen

BOARD MEMBER

CEO, YoYo Design

For anyone wishing to contact the board directly, you can freely do so by emailing - board@rtwtogether.com

Our Partners

We are pleased to work with many great people and businesses without which we would not be able to do all that we do. Below are some of our key partners:-

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Sarah Raine

Marketing Support

Colley Raine Associates

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Hilary Smith

TWBC Key Contact & support

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council

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Matt Crees

Maintenance Support

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Flic Roberts

Marketing Support

Colley Raine Associates

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Sarah-Louise Koessler

Visit Tunbridge Wells Partner

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Laura Gibson

TW Works Support

Calvermont

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Luciano Moreire

Graffiti Removal

Our Town

Royal Tunbridge Wells is a wonderful town that RTW Together is proud to be based in and help represent and support.

"Tunbridge Wells, a historic town in Kent, England, is renowned for its elegant architecture, scenic parks, and vibrant cultural scene. Nestled in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it captivates with its Georgian and Victorian buildings, including the iconic Pantiles, a colonnaded shopping district. The town boasts picturesque parks like Dunorlan Park, enhancing its green allure. Tunbridge Wells is also home to diverse shops, restaurants, and cultural venues, contributing to its dynamic atmosphere. The Chalybeate Spring, discovered in the 17th century, adds a touch of history, reflecting the town's spa heritage. Overall, Tunbridge Wells harmonizes history, nature, and contemporary charm." - Chat GPT

Ballot 2024

Royal Tunbridge Wells Together Business Improvement District was set up in 2019 to support the businesses of Royal Tunbridge Wells. Over the last 5 years we have strived to accomplish that goal during what can be described as challenging circumstances for the town.

 

We believe we have accomplished much but that there is much still that can be accomplished and we therefore wish to continue our efforts for a further 5 years supporting the RTW business community and continuing to offer them cost-effective support and value for money.

BID Members

The 640+ BID Members are made up of businesses within the BID area (outlined in the map adjacent) which are responsible for a property registered for business rates that have a rating of over £15k.

Please note the only change to the map from the first term, is a small modifcation on the southern edge to remove what was previously a pie factory as the property is in the process of being converted to residential.

Every prospective BID member will be eligible to one vote per property/hereditament. BID members would contribute an annual levy based on the rateable value of their premises.

BID Members are welcome to contact the BID team to check what their cost would be.

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Voting

We are seeking to renew the Business Improvement District (BID) for the town centre of RTW for a second five-year term (1st April 2024 – 31st March 2029) and have requested Tunbridge Wells Borough Council (TWBC) to administer the ballot, in accordance with the BID (England) Regulations 2004. The BID ballot will be successful if the following two criteria are met:

1. More than 50% of businesses that vote, vote YES

2. Those voting in favour must represent the majority of rateable value of those voting

If the ballot is successful, RTW Together BID will start a second five-year term commencing 1st April 2024.

 

In the event the ballot is unsuccessful, the BID will cease to exist on 31st March 2024 and all RTW Together operations will finish shortly after.

You should have received your copy of the business plan and official ballot notification by now. You should receive ballot paper 1st February or shortly after. This ballot paper will have a simple Yes / No option which you can return either by post (using the self-addressed envelope) or by dropping your return off (Monday – Friday between 9am – 5pm) at Tunbridge Wells Borough Council Reception, Town Hall, Civic Way, Royal Tunbridge Wells TN1 1RS where there will be a sealed ballot box .

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Ballot Timeline

  • October / November 23 - BID Member Consultation 

  • December 23 - New Business Plan Drafted

  • January 23 - Business Plan delivered to BID Members

  • 18th January - BID Members receive formal notification of ballot from Civica (independent election body)

  • 1st February - BID Members receive by post their ballot slips (with accompanying ballot statement)

  • February 24 - Voting takes place

  • 29th February - Final deadline for voting submission

  • 1st March - Announcement of result (on social media, by newsletter and on this website)

  • 1st April - RTW Together BID Term 2 begins (if the ballot is a majority yes vote)

Business Plan and Consultation

During the Autumn of 2023, RTW Together invited its BID Members to consult on a second business plan. We offered BID Members the opportunity to attend a presentation and workshop at the Hotel du Vin on the 18th October, invited BID Members to come into see the BID team either by appointment or by a number of dedicated drop off sessions and via an electronic survey. 

 

Following reviewing the feedback from the dedicated consultation sessions as well as general feedback received from BID Members throughout the year, a plan was drafted in consultation with the board via dedicated committee sessions to review the relevant areas. The plan that has been drafted aims to support businesses as desired by the local community in ways where a BID can make real positive impact and has outlined this through 3 core avenues -

  • supporting your business directly to help you operate as effectively as possible

  • promoting your business and you town as a destination to visit and enjoy

  • enhancing our town and local environment of your business

If you haven't already RTW Together encourages you to read and/or download the plan. If you haven't received for whatever reason and/or would like another hard copy of the plan please do not hesitate to request one below.

Questions

If you have any questions about the Business Plan or voting process, please do not hesitate to contact the BID team via biddirector@rtwtogether.com or the local authority who oversees the ballot via hilary.smith@tunbridgewells.gov.uk 

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