Last month our Walks Guide, Aly Mir, celebrated 10 years working for local businesses in our area.

Before the Business Improvement District (BID) was established, an informal group of local business leaders came together to discuss local issues and how the area could be improved.  Two years later in 2005 the BID was established as one of the first 5 BIDs for London, following a successful ballot

Aly originally staffed the information point outside Holborn station. Ten years ago this was a small trolley which could be wheeled in and out of the station, and today it is a fully equipped kiosk, with internet access and a range of maps and information leaflets about the locality.

In 2010 the BID expanded to include southern Bloomsbury, St Giles, and the eastern stretch of High Holborn to Holborn Circus.  The BID now serves 570 businesses and the area between what is commonly thought of as the West End and the City.

In recognition of the success of the Kiosk the GoToMidtown shop opened in 2012.  Located at 56 New Oxford Street, it provides free help and advice to people visiting the area, hotel and show bookings, and sells our range of sustainable GoToMidtown merchandise including bee hives and bird and bat boxes

For the last few years Aly has exclusively worked as the BID’s Walks Guide. You can see him in his orange uniform leading visitors and local employees on guided tours of the area. Since his walks started in 2006 there have been over 17,000 people on them, and the number of subjects covered is approaching the 100 mark!

Aly says, of his time here; “I have really enjoyed my 10 years working for what is now called inmidtown Business Improvement District. Without a doubt the main changes have been in the range of services we provide. Whilst we have always provided services such as; local information, working with other agencies to promote the area, and additional safety and security, we have added new services over the years to increase our reach and value to local businesses. Working with a small team, focused on delivering real services suits me. Overall it’s been a great 10 years”.

Congratulations and thank you to Aly on 10 years of service to the businesses and people of Bloomsbury, Holborn and St Giles.

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