BUSINESSES in Bayswater and Victoria have agreed to stump up cash to make improvements to the areas.

The majority of traders voted to sign up to the Bayswater Business Improvement District (BID) and Victoria BID, and they will now pay a levy to help boost trade.

The Bayswater BID funds will mainly be used to encourage residents and visitors back to local shops following recent reductions in trade during the recession, and following the opening of the Westfield shopping centre in Shepherd's Bush.

The Victoria BID, run by the Victoria Partnership, will seek to change the perception of the area as merely a transport hub to one of an urban business district, with restaurants, bars, shops and theatres.

The results of the ballot were announced by Westminster Council.

Deputy council leader Cllr Robert Davis said: "BIDs empower organisations to improve their local area by pooling support and co-ordinating spending to make the most of what's on offer for residents and visitors alike.

"We've already seen how successful BIDs can be with the likes of the New West End Company (NWEC), Heart of London and Paddington significantly raising the profile of their respective areas.

"If businesses in Bayswater and Victoria agree on shared goals, there's no reason they cannot emulate this success and I would urge businesses to come along and find out more."

The UK's largest BID, the NWEC, represents businesses in the West End and pays for promotion of the district, contributions towards street improvements and arranges for street management services such as red-cap guardians who help shoppers find their way around.

The Heart of London Business Alliance, formed of traders in and around Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus, was the first BID in central London in February 2005 and the second in the UK.

This was followed by the NWEC and another BID in Paddington, which aims to re-position Paddington as a leisure destination with a business environment and welcoming residential area.