London could elect its first Night Mayor in plan to boost the late-night economy

By Sophie Witts

- Last updated on GMT

London could elect its first Night Mayor in plan to boost the late-night economy
London could soon be electing its first Night Mayor tasked with saving the city's £66bn late-night economy.

The proposal comes in a report published by the Mayor's London Music Venues Taskforce today, which claims that a third of the capital’s live music venues have closed their doors since 2007.

Iconic sites including the Astoria and the Marquee Club are among the 48 venues which have ceased trading – leaving just 88 remaining.

Plans to halt the decline include the appointment of a Night Mayor tasked with ‘bringing together night-time businesses, local authorities and emergency services to help the late-night economy thrive’.

The report also proposes shifting the responsibility for dealing with noise complaints to developers if housing is constructed close to an existing late-night venue.

The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) has welcomed the plans as ‘an important step in recognizing the value of bars, nightclubs, restaurants, festivals and pop ups’.

However, the group is arguing that the plans should be extended to include all late-night venues, instead of just those hosting live music.

Alan Miller, NTIA chairman, said: “As with moving next to an airport or motorway, when an area already has a vibrant nightlife and night time economy, the London Plan should protect the vitally important economic and cultural activity that is one of the few dynamic areas in UK business and which is at the heart of our cities and high streets.”

The group is also calling for a scheme to stabilise ‘enormous’ London rents driven up by residents eager to live close to thriving late night areas and pressures on lack of space and housing.

The NTIA said in a statement: “This key recommendation would encourage developers to work with night time owners and operators and house them in future developments of all sizes to ensure the ongoing health of the sector – which benefits and adds value to the city and area as a whole.”

According to an NTIA report released in June​, the night-time economy has continued to grow throughout the global recession and now accounts for nearly six per cent of GDP.

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