Heart of London Business Alliance launched its ambitious five-year plan that will cement the area as a world-class destination for visitors and businesses across `Piccadilly, Leicester Square and St James’s, effectively future-proofing the West End’s thriving economy following their successful re-election.

The plan, which outlines Heart of London’s five core promises to their 500 member businesses ahead of their fifth ballot renewal on 24 March, was launched at the members’ insight event titled ‘An Economic Outlook for 2017’ at which leading economists’ shared their views about how global, UK and London economies will fare in 2017.

Ros Morgan, Chief Executive of Heart of London Business Alliance says today’s discussion – highlighting the impact of Brexit, US politics, inflation, London business rates and national employment – proved more than ever, that their members’ priorities are their priority.

“As a London business community, we were briefed today on the economic challenges that lie ahead,” Ros says. “Heart of London Business Alliance’s opportunity to continue to lead the area comes at a pivotal time. Our business plan sets out how we will deliver the collective vision for the area and address the priorities pertinent to the success of our members.

“More than 400 million people visit the West End every year, thanks to our iconic location where both leisure and business tourism is top of mind. Our vision for a world-class experience area-wide is set to deliver significant tourist growth, as well as international business investment that will boost London’s West End economy, as well as that of the wider capital and ultimately, the UK.”

Councillor Tim Mitchell, Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate Services at Westminster City Council addressed the audience to highlight Westminster’s agenda for the year ahead, including investment in the West End, business rates and employment.

Cllr Tim Mitchell, says: “Events such as these provide an invaluable opportunity to discuss the future of Westminster together with the local business community. Building on the good work achieved over the past 15 years, Heart of London Business Alliance has once again developed an ambitious business plan for the area, mirroring Westminster City Council’s priority to deliver a world-class West End. We will continue to work closely with Westminster’s Business Improvement Districts, and look forward to further strengthening the partnership between the council and Heart of London Business Alliance in the coming years.”

Heart of London Business Alliance’s vision for the next five years will build on its past success, focusing on critical matters such as driving international awareness of the area; lobbying for a better deal on business rates; championing and protecting investment in public realm enhancements; facilitating powerful business partnerships; and continuing their work around businesses resilience and security.

Their dedicated work of the past 15 years has delivered significant improvements to the area resulting in its leading destination status for not only tourists, but a diverse cross section of business including leisure, retail and financial institutions.

Heart of London Business Alliance’s past achievements include championing the £14M Piccadilly Two Way Project alongside Westminster City Council, Transport for London and The Crown Estate; and the £15M Leicester Square revamp, that restored confidence to businesses like Old Park Lane Management, Edwardian Group, The Hippodrome, W London and Criterion Capital amongst others.

Their leadership and advocacy on key policy issues and service provision has seen success, including the West End Impact Zone policing, which has reduced crime by 36% in the first year.

Their backing of large-scale, public cultural events, such as Lumiere London increased the area’s footfall by +93.1% and retail sales by +27.7% and their joint investment in London Luxury Quarter has taken retailers to a global audience attracting an estimated annual spend in the region of £3 billion.

Rajesh Agrawal, London’s Deputy Mayor for Business says: “London’s West End – home to an exceptional array of theatres, cultural attractions, hotels and shopping – is of course a vital part of the city’s economy. Heart of London Business Alliance plays a crucial role ensuring the West End continues to flourish. ”

James Cooksey, Director of Central London at The Crown Estate says: “London’s West End is one of the most exciting and dynamic places in the world, offering Londoner’s and people the world-over a great place to visit, shop and do business. That said, we can’t rest on our laurels, and organisations like Heart of London have a vital role to play in bringing different voices together and helping ensure it remains a world-class destination.”

Simon Thomas, Chief Executive, The Hippodrome Casino says: “From pushing for Government legislation on pedicabs to campaigning for improved access to the UK for millions of Chinese visitors, Heart of London plays a crucial role on behalf of businesses, visitors and residents of the West End.”

Patricia Yates, Director, VisitBritain says: “Heart of London helps showcase the best of the West End, be it luxury shopping, art and culture or culinary excellence to visitors, creating economic benefits that spread beyond our capital, securing its position as a world-class destination.”

Ciaran Fahy, Chief Executive of The Ritz London says: “The Ritz London has been an active partner of Heart of London Business Alliance for many years. As the catalyst for Lumiere London and other major destination events, Heart of London Business Alliance partner with other leading London organisations to ensure the area can leverage marketing investment to attract national and international visitors. Their street management team have made a real impact on cleanliness and safety for all our visitors and residents to enjoy this special part of the city.”

Future plans for Heart of London Business Alliance include:

World-Class Destination
To remain the number one global destination by continuing to promote the West End to worldwide audiences, backed by a clear strategy to showcase what the West End has to offer and ensure they remain a global business address and world-class destination.

Exceptional Public Spaces
To ensure that the quality of the urban environment is exceptional. They will build upon their successes to date to ensure that public spaces and streets continue to be rejuvenated, clean, attractive, actively managed and worthy of their iconic status.

Decisive Leadership and Influence
As the representative of over 500 businesses and property owners in the West End, Heart of London has a strong voice. They will continue to work with and for their members and partners to mitigate challenges and seize opportunities.

Robust Resilience and Infrastructure
It is vital that businesses have the infrastructure to provide the highest levels of productivity and service. They will ensure that they are able to respond to external factors and this area of London is always open for business.

Powerful Insight and Networks
To provide best in class services and react to changing economic and political dynamics, knowledge is key. They will provide reliable and relevant information, deliver thought provoking leadership and powerful business networks, supporting their members’ decision making and helping them to grow and flourish.

Achievements through partnerships since 2012:

  • £40 million investment in public realm
  • 50 football pitches worth of streets deep-cleaned every 6 weeks
  • 8,000 issues tackled annually by Heart of London Ambassadors
  • 36% less crime since the introduction of the West End Impact Zone
  • £3 billion extra spend generated by London Luxury Quarter annually
  • World-class events such as Lumiere London