BALLOT 2022 ANNOUNCEMENT
WEST END BUSINESSES RE-ELECT HEART OF LONDON BUSINESS ALLIANCE TO SECURE POST-PANDEMIC ECONOMIC AND CULTURAL RECOVERY
Heart of London Business Alliance (HOLBA), central London’s flagship Business Improvement District (BID), has been re-elected as the formal business champion of the West End, meaning it can continue to ensure that one of the most culturally rich areas in the world can recover and welcome back international visitors in the post-pandemic era.
HOLBA’s members were asked to mandate its next five-year business plan – Securing the Future of London’s West End – and voted on two ballots, with the businesses in Leicester Square & Piccadilly Circus voting in favour by 99% and Piccadilly & St James’s voting in favour by 91%.
The business plan outlines a programme of activity to help the West End recover and thrive from the pandemic as a global cultural and commercial powerhouse.
HOLBA has operated as one of the West End’s BIDs since 2004 and now represents over 600 leading businesses and 100 top property owners across the Piccadilly, St James’s, Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus and St Martin’s areas. Its members include some of the nation’s most cherished cultural institutions such as the Royal Academy, English National Opera, BAFTA, half of Theatreland including Her Majesty’s Theatre, and iconic luxury hotel and retail establishments including The Ritz, The Londoner and Fortnum & Mason.
Members also voted to continue the work that HOLBA has been doing in the area. Since first elected in 2004, it has invested a total of £35 million of the BID’s levy directly into the area to address the shared priorities of its members. During the pandemic, it also helped secure a £1.75bn support package for the art and culture sector.
The centrepiece of West End 2027 is its placeshaping strategy, which includes over 40 potential projects, with five immediate priority projects, all designed to preserve and enhance the unique character of the central London area.
HOLBA’s business plan further commits to working with the government to drive policy change that will help London maintain its status as a global city. It has already helped to save West End businesses over £1bn through successful campaigning for business rates relief.
With sustainability an ever-pressing issue, HOLBA has further reduced the West End’s CO2 emissions by 43,000 tones via a waste supplier scheme and is also working with its partners and Westminster City Council to support the Zero Carbon City 2040 initiative.
HOLBA was the first BID elected in central London and over the last two decades it has fine-tuned its service and offering. From keeping the area clean and safe, to promoting and marketing the West End as a world-class destination, and most recently, in the wake of the pandemic, determining how it can regenerate the area, attract inward investment and drive forward its transformational public realm strategies.
Ros Morgan, Chief Executive, Heart of London Business Alliance, said: “We are thrilled that the businesses in the area have once again put their trust in Heart of London Business Alliance.
“Over the next five years, one of our priorities will be to continue working together with the Government to drive strategic change that helps London maintain its status as a great global city. This should bring together continued support for business, the investment in transport London deserves, careful stewardship of our environment, and ensuring the West End remains the world’s cultural hub.
“When you invest in Heart of London Business Alliance, you invest in a long-term vision for the West End as the most diverse, energetic, and cutting-edge destination in the world.”
Councillor Rachael Robathan, Leader of Westminster City Council, said: “Securing the future of the West End is essential to the success of the wider UK’s economy as we emerge from the pandemic. With Heart of London Business Alliance re-elected for another term, Westminster City Council will continue to work with its partners to deliver a best-in-class, globally competitive destination for visitors and workers alike.”