'First ever’ plan for London’s night economy launched

Claire Dodd

Claire Dodd

25 July 2017

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has outlined his vision for London to become a leading 24-hour global city.

The 10 principles launched today are intended to help the capital to become a trailblazing city at night, competing with the likes of Berlin, Tokyo and New York. Currently London’s £26bn night-time economy generates one in eight jobs in the capital.

The principles include; the promotion of all forms of culture and leisure, not just pubs and clubs, but a wide range of activities for people of all ages and interests; increasing opening hours where appropriate to help businesses cope with the recent business rates hike; and working hand in glove with boroughs and the police to create balanced and sustainable night time offers across the capital.

The vision will be realised by night czar Amy Lamé alongside the new night time commission chaired by Philip Kolvin QC, which will include planners, licensing experts, venue owners, artists, the police, media entrepreneurs as well as leaders of major cultural organisations.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: 'I’ve pledged to make growing London’s culture a core priority, and our city’s thriving night-time economy is a key part of this. Building a vibrant 24-hour city is crucial for London to remain a cultural and economic powerhouse - it is also what keeps visitors, workers, students and businesses flocking to our great city.

'Today’s vision isn’t just about pubs and clubs - it’s about everything from museums and theatres opening later, being able to do your weekly shop after an evening shift, through to the safety of Londoners working and travelling at night and residents being able to get a good night’s sleep.  We must create a life at night that works for everyone, showing the world that London is open for business, open for people and ideas, and open 24 hours a day.'

Chair of the Night Time Commission, Philip Kolvin QC, said: 'London can only become a truly 24-hour city if we can bring everyone across the industry, the boroughs, police, transport and health to work together. This vision gives us the guiding principles we need to ensure decisions around planning, licensing and building for the future make the night-time economy a priority.'

Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive of The ALMR, said: 'A flexible operating environment provides convenience and opportunities for employers, staff and customers and the Mayor’s vision for London can help to provide that flexibility.'

Though the plans have been broadly welcomed, BBPA Chief Executive Brigid Simmonds said: 'This is a welcome report, which not only acknowledges the importance of London’s night-time economy, but the key role that pubs play.

'However, we don’t support the use of ‘Article 4’ directions, which can damage a pub’s ability to make even modest improvements to the property. Pubs have planning protection, following recent legislative changes, and I will be raising this again the Mayor.

'Equally, assets of community value designation, which we support in principle, are not always the answer to protect struggling pubs, especially if ACVs are overused.'

The full plan can be viewed here: london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/24hourlondon_vision.pdf

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