Mark Adair

New Night Time Enterprise Zones helps London burn the midnight oil

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today announced a new £500,000 programme to create Night Time Enterprise Zones in the capital to help support London’s economic recovery.

The pandemic has had a devastating impact on the capital as businesses and cultural venues faced months of temporary closures and restrictions, but the new Night Time Enterprise Zones will enable boroughs to encourage more people to use their high streets after 6pm and boost the local economy.

The funding, in partnership with the London Economic Action Partnership (LEAP), will create at least three zones across the capital where boroughs will work with businesses and local communities to develop ideas to make their high streets more accessible, inclusive and welcoming at night.

They will be supported to develop a range of ideas, such as extending opening hours or holding special events, taking measures to improve women’s safety and supporting good work standards for those working at night.

It follows the success of a Night Time Enterprise Zone pilot in Waltham Forest in 2019 where extended opening times, events, increased promotion and repurposing council-owned buildings helped to increase footfall on Walthamstow High Street by 22 per cent, improved safety perceptions and widened local participation.

The Night Time Enterprise Zone programme supports the Mayor’s ambition to make London a 24-hour city and work to drive the capital’s economic recovery. It builds on the Mayor’s wider work to support the capital at night, including the first-of-its-kind Women’s Night Safety Charter for councils as well as insuring businesses and venues prioritise women’s safety at night.

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, said, “high streets are the lifeblood of our communities and have a key role to play in our economic recovery from the pandemic.

“Our Night Time Enterprise Zone pilot showed what is possible for our town centres at night and by expanding the zones to more areas we will help local authorities and businesses make their high streets more welcoming and inclusive after 6pm. It’s another example of how we are working to build a better London for everyone after the pandemic.”

Kate Nicholls, CEO of UK Hospitality and former Chair of the London Night Time Commission, said, “I’m delighted today’s announcement from the Mayor builds on one of the key recommendations of the London Night Time Commission’s Think Night Report.

“A diverse and vibrant night time offer, rooted in the local community, is something the Commission recognised as being essential in ensuring our high streets are seen as attractive destinations for everyone after 6pm.”

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