Sadiq Khan to invest £6m in campaign to get people back into central London

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to invest £6m in campaign to get people back into central London

Related tags: London, Hospitality, Restaurant, Public house, Coronavirus

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has announced that £6m will be invested in directly supporting the reopening of London’s economy once Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.

Working with the business community, new initiatives will be brought forward to encourage Londoners and tourists from around the UK back into central London, likely to include major events that 'showcase central London’s public spaces and cultural riches'.

The money could also be spent on helping local businesses to put in place more al fresco dining to enable hospitality venues to reopen successfully post-lockdown.

It comes as the Mayor published a final report conducted by Arup with Gerald Eve and the London School of Economics which shows the future challenges and opportunities facing London’s Central Activities Zone (CAZ).

The report concludes that the central London ecosystem is well placed to recovery strongly, with world-leading sectors such as tech and its arts and cultural offer.

However, if home working remains the norm for office workers and no further action is taken, the report says this could lead to an estimated 86,000 fewer jobs within the CAZ by 2031 with the losses in retail, food and culture. 

The economy of London would contract by £36bn by 2031.

Reacting to news of the new investment, UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “London’s hospitality businesses rely, in large part, on footfall from commuters and international tourists.

"The shift towards home working and the almost total absence of international tourists during the pandemic has meant that city centre businesses have taken a huge hit.

"If we want these businesses to survive, then we need to tempt people back into London and a plan to ensure that people have a reason to continue visiting regularly."

Last month Khan announced a separate plan to invest £5m to support the eventual reopening of hospitality in central London​.

Related topics: Business & Legislation

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