|This week marked the one year anniversary since the entire UK was told to stay at home. The fact that it was initially supposed to be for a six week period highlights how uncertain and turbulant these past 12 months have been.|
While this week has given us a chance to reflect on the highs and lows of the past twelve months, it also brings us closer to the next phase out of lockdown with friends and family able to meet again outdoors from Monday. As we edge closer to normality, we at New West End Company have been able to plan ahead with more certainty than before and we look forward to sharing our full reopening plans with you next week.
The New West End Company Board this week approved our budget allocations for 2021/22 and our key priorities for the year ahead to support the West End’s recovery.
While we do have a clear roadmap to reopening and recovery, we are still calling for more targeted support for commercial centres such as the West End as we to look ahead with ambition for long-term growth. You can read my thoughts on this in The Times Red Box. As part of our recovery, we also welcomed the Mayor of London’s announcement of a further £6 million invesment in directly supporting the re-opening of London’s economy once COVID restrictions are lifted, in response to the findings in the Central Activities Zone (CAZ) Economic Futures Research, which you can read here.
This month, I also had the pleasure of joining the Mayfair Youth Forum, an inspiring initiative from Grosvenor Great Britain & Ireland, which gives young people a platform to make positive change in their neighbourhood, whilst learning skills to equip them for the future. With the responsibility of shaping the future of our district, involving the younger generations and understanding their views of our communities is of the utmost importance. The Young Westminster Foundation captured these insights in its Our City, Our Future Report which looks into the areas of life that matter most to young people today, with emerging focuses on employment, mental health & wellbeing, social action and access to information on local services.
This month we were also thrilled to announce that an overwhelming 98% of West End businesses voted to renew our mandate to deliver a further five years of transformation and services. You can view the full declaration of results on Westminster City Council’s website here. Once again, I’d like to thank you all for your support over the past five years and for your confidence in the team to continue to deliver as we recover and rebuild.
As ever, the New West End Company team are on hand to help with any queries you may have on reopening and the year ahead. Next week we will be releasing our full reopening guide and on 7 April, we will be sharing our operational and district plans for reopening and recovery at West End Recovery LIVE which you can register for here.
Yours in partnership
Jace Tyrrell, Chief Executive