The rise and fall of the Hampstead BID

How it all unfolded

Friday, 4th June 2021 — By Harry Taylor

camilla delmaestro cnj Image 2021-05-12 at 13.27.10 (1)

The timeline

JULY 2016 l Hampstead BID set up after 65 per cent of businesses back scheme in postal election. It replaces the previous NW3 Business Association and aims to increase footfall, reduce business costs, improve staff retention and promote the area’s businesses.

OCTOBER 2018 l Landlord of King William IV pub, Jimmy McGrath, taken to court for not paying the compulsory levy for two years – about £900. He cites the bill being improperly issued and says that it’s unclear whether the scheme provides any value for money.

OCTOBER 2018 l Chief executive of Hampstead BID Caroline Goldsack stands down after two years in charge. NOVEMBER 2018 l Petition organised by Hampstead Village Voice editor Sebastian Wocker to “terminate the BID” collects nearly 60 signatures. The letter signatories express their “ardent discontent and lack of trust towards the [BID]”.

FEBRUARY 2019 l Primera is brought in. The firm runs other BIDs across London. Marcos Gold is the new BID manager, effectively taking over from Ms Goldsack.

APRIL 2019 l Mr McGrath is told to pay £900 sum owed to Hampstead BID by Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court.

OCTOBER 2019 l A dozen business owners hold the first campaign meeting of the Hampstead BID Abolishment Campaign in Hampstead Community Centre. Camilla Del Maestro is appointed secretary of the campaign.

FEBRUARY 2020 l Mr McGrath loses high court case against magis­trates’ court ruling over debt owed to Camden over the BID levy. He insists battle is not over.


OCTOBER 2020 l Businesses are told they won’t be taken to court if they don’t pay BID levy amid challenging trading conditions caused by the pandemic. But owners complain of being sent letters threatening legal action through the post.

MARCH 2021 l Dates announced for BID renewal ballot to take place in July, with the scheme’s new “term” beginning in August if re-elected.

MARCH 2021 l BID co-chair and owner of Hampstead Butcher and Providore Philip Matthews stands down, citing demands on his time but says he is still available as a “supporter and ambassador”.

MAY 2021 l Hampstead BID brings out its manifesto. It says more businesses will be exempt from paying the levy if voted back in, but that these shops and firms will not get a vote. “No” posters appear in shop windows.

MAY 2021 l Hampstead BID announces ballot won’t go ahead as planned and the BID will be wound up.

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