London appoints first Night Czar to help boost night time economy

By Emma Eversham contact

- Last updated on GMT

Amy Lamé is set to help London's late night businesses, including restaurants, pubs and clubs as the inaugural Night Czar for London
Amy Lamé is set to help London's late night businesses, including restaurants, pubs and clubs as the inaugural Night Czar for London
London's night time economy is to get a boost following the appointment of Amy Lamé as the capital's first Night Czar. 

Lamé, a writer, broadcaster, DJ, performer, campaigner and former Mayor of Camden, has been appointed to champion London's nightlife economy which currently contributes £26.3bn to London’s annual GDP.

As Night Czar Lamé will work with the night time industries, local authorities, the Metropolitan Police, Transport for London and the public to help London thrive as a 24-hour city. She is already planning a series of monthly Night Surgeries where she will visit businesses, night-time workers and residents for their views. 

She said: "I can’t wait to hit the streets and have loads of ideas of what I can do for revellers, night-time workers, businesses and stakeholders. For too long, the capital’s night-time industry has been under pressure - music venues and nightclubs in particular are closing at an alarming rate. 

“With the advent of the Night Tube, and the Mayor’s commitment to protect iconic venues across the city, I’m confident that I can inspire a positive change in the way people think about the night time economy." 

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said with the recent closure of nightclub Fabric and other late-night venues under threat a Night Czar was a 'much-needed ambassador for the city after dark'.

"Amy is a fantastic hire who will give a big boost to our city’s flourishing nightlife which already attracts millions of visitors each year," he said. "Her proven track-record of helping save venues, her first-hand experience of the industry over the last two decades as well as her love for London and its nightlife are what make her such a great candidate for the role. She is in an ideal position to work together with venues, authorities, developers and revellers enjoying a night out to solve difficult issues and get new and creative projects going. 

“London is now the biggest city in the world to appoint a Night Czar, and over the coming weeks I’ll be going even further and extending the work of the Night Time Commission. I look forward to appointing a new Chair of the Commission to work with Amy to ensure London thrives as a 24-hour-city."

Survive and thrive

Lamé's appointment was welcomed by industry groups and business owners. 

Kate Nicholls, chief executive at The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR), said the organisation was pleased to see the Mayor acknowledge the importance of Lodnon's night-time economy. 

“London is renowned as a world destination and it is important that its night-time economy is at the cutting edge, not just in terms of infrastructure, but also through a hospitality offering that promises the best for customers and a legislative environment that lets businesses thrive," she said.  

“Amy brings great experience and has the force of personality to make a real difference for London," said BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds. 

“Pubs, and the wider night-time industry in London, are a huge part of our economy.  We need to take advantage of the opportunities to create jobs and growth, as well as tackling some big challenges, not least of which is the threat to London pubs from huge rises in their Business Rates bills.

Jonathan Downey, owner of Milk & Honey and co-founder of London Union/Street Feast, said: “The appointment of a Night Czar is fantastic news for London and for the whole of the night time economy. London is a great world city - creative, progressive, exciting and unique - and the night time is one of our key cultural assets. We must promote, protect and celebrate the night so that film, theatre, live music, clubs, bars, restaurants and night markets can survive and thrive.”

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