Heart of London launches night-time economy strategy

3rd April 2023 | Jack Oliver

The Heart of London Business Alliance (HOLBA) has launched a new strategy which aims to build and support the evening and night-time economy in the West End.

The Evening and Night-time Economy Strategy, Vision and Action Plan looks to make the West End more inclusive, safe, accessible, attractive, and dynamic between the hours of 6pm and 6am.

The strategy, in collaboration with urban design practice Publica, is accompanied by an economic analysis conducted by Arup. HOLBA says the report shows that the West End economy is struggling to recover from the Pandemic.

High living and operating costs, supply chain disruption, staff shortages, overcrowding on the streets, limited step free access, antisocial behaviour, footfall stagnation, lack of facilities and amenities, a disconnect between public policies and “myopic” decision making at statutory level are all reasons cited by the Alliance as to why the area is struggling.

HOLBA says that the West End attracts 200 million visitors per year and boasts around 100 commercial galleries, 53 music venues, 39 theatres, 4 casinos, 11 dance venues, and 3 art institutions. This is in addition to a range of accommodation, restaurants, bars, clubs, cafés, and shops.

Ros Morgan, chief executive of HOLBA, said: “The need for a coherent evening and night-time strategy has never been greater and will enable the West End to reach its full potential as a world-leading 24/7 city. This strategy is the first strategy of its kind for the West End and looks beyond the obvious, beyond a single industry or sector and beyond the day-to-day challenges of a city after dark. Instead, it elevates the conversation to look at the potential value of the evening and night-time economy to London’s West End”

The report outlines a 77-step action plan set across five key objectives:

  • To recognise the value of the evening and night time economy, support collaborative working and evidence-led decision making
  • To make the area more welcoming, safe, attractive and dynamic across 24 hours
  • To entice and serve more people with a diverse range of experiences and uses
  • To attract and develop world-class workforce and businesses to foster innovation
  • To improve inclusivity, sense of safety and access to and within the area, its destinations and activities


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