Agenda and minutes

Venue: Bromley Civic Centre

Contact: Jo Partridge  020 8461 7694

No. Item




RESOLVED that Katy Woolcott – London Biggin Hill Airport be appointed Vice-Chairman for the 2017/18 municipal year.




The Chairman led members of the Partnership in a moments silence to pay tribute to Mark Henderson, founder of MSE UK and a former co-optee of the committee who had sadly passed away.


Apologies had been received from Carol Arnfield – LBB Head of Service, Education, Dave Freeborn – Proctors, Robert Goddard – Thackray Williams LLP, Mike Lewis – Michael Rogers LLP, Mary Manuel – LBB Head of Planning Strategy and Projects, Sam Parrett – London South East Colleges, David Warnes – London South East Colleges and Steve Wheeler – Federation of Small Businesses.




The minutes of the meeting were agreed subject to the fourth paragraph, third sentence of Item 4a: Town Centres Development Programme Update being amended to read:


“The Premier Inn hotel was currently operating at 88% capacity….”


There were no matters arising.





Ms Jemma Johnson-Davey, LBB Museum Development Manager (Biggin Hill Memorial Museum Project) gave a presentation on plans for the new Biggin Hill Memorial Museum.


The Biggin Hill Memorial Museum project had just received a successful outcome from an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for nearly £2m, which had unlocked the final funding needed to start building. Planning permission had been granted for the project in April 2107 and building works were due to start at the end of September 2017, with the museum opening in November 2018.


An image of Sir Winston Churchill visiting Biggin Hill airfield in 1941 was displayed, highlighting why Biggin Hill was so internationally important. The aerodrome was one of the oldest in Britain, and would celebrate its centenary during 2017. It had been active during both the First and Second World War’s, and had played a major role in the Battle of Britain.


The Biggin Hill Memorial Museum project had started in 2014 following the RAF withdrawing funding to maintain the site. The Government had then asked that Bromley Council lead on developing a project to safeguard the future of the Chapel site. Following this, the Biggin Hill Memorial Museum Trust was established and consisted of eight trustees. A good connection with Chartwell continued to be maintained, and Sir Winston Churchill’s great grandson, Randolph Churchill was Patron of the Trust.


The site of the Biggin Hill Memorial Museum is on Main Road, Biggin Hill with the entrance identified by the Spitfire and Hurricane aircraft ‘gate guardians’. These were initially original aircrafts, but had since been replaced by fibreglass models. The museum was situated on the very edge of London Biggin Hill Airport, and it was felt to be important to have a relationship with the airport and its related industries. One of the trustees was Colin Hitchins, Community Engagement Manager, London Biggin Hill Airport with whom they continued to work closely to utilise mutually beneficial opportunities such as the annual Festival of Flight.


The Biggin Hill Memorial Museum was expected to bring increased tourism and visitor economy to Biggin Hill and the London Borough of Bromley. Work was being undertaken to link up with local heritage attractions, such as Downe House, Chartwell and Bromley Historic Collections. The Chapel currently attracted around 12,000 visitors a year and conservative estimates expected this to increase to 25,000 visitors once the new museum was opened. This was due to its strong international appeal as well as more local visitors expected from the borough and those travelling in from Kent and London. The schools offer was also very important as they were one of the museums main target audiences.


The new plans would see the Chapel restored to its original design and introduce a single storey museum building, which would wrap around it and bring the landscape back to its original intention. To aide sustainability, there would be a retail and commercial offer on-site including a café and shop and spaces for hire for corporate, learning and community  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.




Members of the Partnership considered the Terms of Reference and membership of the Bromley Economic Partnership.


Following discussion, members of the Partnership agreed that the representation should be broadened to include Your Bromley BID Company, and that the Skills Funding Agency be amended to ‘Education and Skills Funding Agency’.


RESOLVED that the revised membership of the Bromley Economic Partnership be agreed.





Members of the Partnership gave an update around progress across the main themes of the Partnership.




Kevin Munnelly, LBB Head of Town Centre Renewal attended to provide an update on Town Centre Development across the Borough. Progress was continuing across the sites that made up the Bromley Town Centre Area Action Plan. Following the appointment of Countryside Properties (UK) Limited as the Council’s preferred development partner for Site G: West of the High Street, a report regarding the development lease agreement and lease would be submitted to the meeting of the Council’s Executive on 19th July 2017. It was expected that a planning application would be submitted in March 2018 for up to 300 residential units, business units and restaurants. Work was expected to start on site in spring 2020, but would be dependent on when planning permission was agreed and the Compulsory Purchase Inquiry completed. With regard to opportunity Site A: Bromley North Station, Prime Place had entered into a development agreement with Network Rail and they were looking to bring forward the first phase of the development.


The first phase of the Bromley Town Centre High Street Public Realm Improvements between Market Square and Metro Bank would commence on 14th August 2017. Works would be paused before the Christmas trading period, and would recommence in the New Year. Officers would be liaising with Your Bromley and the works contractors to ensure that a communications strategy with local businesses was in place.


Further public realm improvements were taking place in Beckenham, which were expected to be completed in early 2018; Penge, where design work was continuing off-site; and Orpington, where the first phase would be completed by the end of July 2017. The second phase of the works would be implemented if additional funding was agreed.


RESOLVED that the update on the town centre development programme be noted.




The Partnership was advised that following the final consultation at the end of 2016, the final draft of the Local Plan had now been approved by the Executive Committee and Full Council. The Plan would therefore be submitted to the Secretary of State by the end of July 2017, who would then appoint an Inspector to lead an Examination in Public. This was expected to run in the autumn of 2017 with Mary Manuel, LBB Head of Planning Strategy and Projects, aiming for final ratification of the Local Plan in early 2018.


Members of the Partnership requested that a web link to the draft Local Plan be circulated.




Mr Martin Pinnell, LBB Head of Town Centre Management and Business Support, gave an update on Business Improvement Districts and Business Support in Quarter 1, 2017/18.


Copies of the South East London Chamber of Commerce Masthead magazine were distributed to members of the Partnership. The latest edition included a profile of the London Borough of Bromley, and thanks were given to the BIDs for their editorial contributions.


The Council was continuing to support and liaise with the existingBIDs in Orpington and Bromley. The Orpington 1st BID Company would go to ballot on 2nd November 2017, for which preparations were currently being made, including finalising draft legal agreements, setting up the ballot and levy collection arrangements. A Committee Report would be presented to the meeting of the Council’s Executive on 19th July 2017 in order to trigger the ballot. Sharon Baldwin, Orpington 1st BID Company advised the Partnership that they were seeking to consult with as many of the 325 businesses as possible through one to one meetings, social media, mailshots and sector meetings. A draft proposal document had been presented to the businesses and they appeared happy to say yes to the BID operating for a further five years, but it was another issue to get them to actually tick the box and vote in favour of it.


The BIDs in Beckenham and Penge were currently in development. Steering groups for both towns had been successfully formed and had met at least twice. Research would be undertaken during July 2017 by CMS with the aim to receive responses from 45-50% of the business rate payers in both towns. The ballots for each town would take place in early 2018. Beckenham had also been awarded the Purple Flag for its night time economy, for which a flag-raising ceremony had taken place in May 2017. Renewal of the application had been submitted at the end of June 2017, and the result was currently awaited.


As part of the New Homes Bonus, further business support had been delivered in Penge for 22 start-up businesses and 24 existing businesses. The start-up businesses had been supported with producing their business plans, and nine new businesses were operating and trading well out of the pop up shop on Penge High Street. The shop was leased until the middle of February 2018 and if the businesses continued to trade well, they may take over the lease themselves. The existing businesses had been provided with support and training which had included food and hygiene audits, food handling training, IT and digital marketing support, business planning and diversification and visual display. ‘Penge Day’ would take place on 26th August 2017 and was a community day to showcase all things local.


Additional business support work had been taking place in Beckenham. Officers had been liaising with businesses to ensure they were kept informed during the major works that were ongoing to improve the town centre. They had been supporting businesses to ensure that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6c




Updates are provided in the relevant sub sections.




Ms Katy Woolcott, London Biggin Hill Airport provided an update on developments at London Biggin Hill Airport following its identification as a Strategic Outer London Development Centre in the London Plan, and as part of the LoCATE (London Centre for Aviation Technology and Enterprise) project which brought together a cluster of modern aviation-related businesses at and around London Biggin Hill Airport to support continued economic development in the area.


Members were advised that the airport’s new operating hours were now in effect and confidence was improved, which was reflected in the conversations that they were having with MRO operators. The aim was to encourage high profile tenants to facilitate sustainable growth at the airport. The airport was working in partnership with London South East Colleges to establish an engineering academy based on-site, for which a funding application had recently been submitted.


Work was continuing on the planning application for the on-site hotel, the building of which was intrinsic to airport operations. The building of an additional hangar was also continuing, which would allow more room for the parking of aircraft.


Mr Colin Hitchins advised members that on the community side, the increase in operating hours had created 115 full time jobs, and that the airport’s tenants Bombardier planned to run six apprenticeships each year.




Mr Mike Lewis (Michael Rogers LLP) was not present at the meeting but provided a written update to the Partnership as follows:


The commercial market remained active, especially in the industrial sector where enquiries continued to be high, but with little stock remaining. On the other hand, the office market had been pretty quiet this year, although deals were taking place at the lower end which was encouraging. Stock levels remained low and headline rents had not been affected by the drop off in demand.


Following the presentation at the last meeting by Mr John Baker, Chief Executive, The John Baker Group, contact had been maintained with all of the building owners along Elmfield Road, Bromley. The outcome of the re-submission of the pre-application was currently awaited, and expected within the next few weeks.




Mr Colin Maclean, Community Links Bromley advised members that an evaluation of the Corporate Social Responsibility Expo in November 2016 had indicated that it had not been the most meaningful event for the charities attending due to lack of footfall. As a result, a review of direct marketing had taken place, following which features on Community Links Bromley had been included in the South East London Chamber of Commerce’s Masthead publication and the Bromley Business e-bulletin.


National Giving Day would be taking place in November 2017, for which a Funding Fair was being organised and further details would be provided at the next meeting of the Partnership.




Members of the Partnership had undertaken a range of activities since the last meeting.


Ms Frances Forrest, Your Bromley BID Company informed members that 25 wheelbarrows decorated by school children were currently located in Market Square. Prizes had been presented in various categories, but it had been decided that a ‘People’s Choice’ would also be awarded. Upcoming events included ‘Yoga in the Park’ on 26th July which was in partnership with Mytime Active, and screenings of themed movies in the Queen’s Gardens during 16th – 18th August 2017. Ms Forrest was pleased to report that 38 businesses had signed up to their free recycling scheme with First Mile, and that the next networking event would take place on 25th July 2017 at The Meze, Ringer’s Road.


Ms Kate Miller, The Glades advised members that the shopping centre was currently in a settling down period following its sale, and that year-to-date footfall was -1%. One of the new restaurants located in the Queen’s Gardens had closed, but the other four were trading well. Vacant units in the centre had been hard to fill, but it was hoped that the hard work put in during the first half of the year would come to fruition later in the year. A full car park refurbishment was planned to take place before Christmas, which would see the implementation of new payment machines, barriers and lighting.


Mr Alex Henderson, MSE UK reported that the company was receiving lots of orders, and were frantically looking to recruit people in production and overseas production. Three employees had recently been recruited into technical roles, two of whom lived in the Bromley borough. There were concerns raised regarding another local business which was a recycling plant. Two of Mr Henderson’s staff had been off work recently due to breathing difficulties, and the manager of the site had not produced the dust reports requested. If these failed to materialise he planned to contact the Environment Agency.


Ms Liz Waghorn, Jobcentre Plus advised members that a very successful job fair had taken place at the end of April 2017, involving 35 employers. Around 280 people had attended, 60 of whom had gone on to training or employment. Lewisham Jobcentre would be closing in December 2017, and their clients from the SE1, 2, 3 and 6 postcodes would be allocated to the Bromley Jobcentre. The Eltham Jobcentre would also be closing, with the clients moving to the Woolwich Jobcentre, but a request would be made for those living in the Mottingham postcodes to be directed to the Bromley Jobcentre.


Ms Lesley Holland, LBB Operations Manager – Bromley Education Business Partnership informed members that as part of the Bromley Youth Employment Scheme, a jobs fair would be taking place on 14th July 2017. It was aimed at 16 to 24 year olds, and had been promoted to 6th forms, youth hubs and the Jobcentre. Around 25 employers were due to attend and advertise live job vacancies that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7d




Members of the Partnership considered the forward rolling work programme for the Bromley Economic Partnership for 2017/18.


In considering the next meeting of the Partnership, the LBB Head of Town Centre Management and Business Support listed possible subjects for speakers and presentations:


·  London South East Colleges presentation and / or visit

·  Learning about MSE UK presentation and / or visit

·  Skills audit and outlook for Bromley borough (including update on funding) from the Education and Skills Funding Agency / Employment and Skills Board / London South East Colleges

·  Local employment & unemployment trends – Department for Work and Pensions

·  Inward investment opportunities for Bromley – London & Partners (an arm of the Greater London Authority which promotes London)

·  Local Plan – presentation on local economy-related themes (early 2018, after plan adopted)

·  Crystal Palace Park project update – LBB Culture & Leisure

·  Corporate Social Responsibility – Community Links Bromley

·  Bromley small businesses: What makes them tick? What were the barriers to growth? – Federation of Small Businesses / South East London Chamber of Commerce

·  Apprenticeship levy update – National Apprenticeship Service

·  Arts and Culture as a driver for local economic development – GLA

·  London Biggin Hill Airport update

·  Opportunities for the night time economy




No other business was brought to the meeting.



4.00pm, Tuesday 10th October 2017

4.00pm, Tuesday 16th January 2018

4.00pm, Tuesday 27th March 2018


4.00pm, Tuesday 10th October 2017

4.00pm, Tuesday 16th January 2018

4.00pm, Tuesday 27th March 2018


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