There is nothing like a Royal occassion to bring our cities and communities together and in London's West End, it was no exception.
What a milestone for the West End, London, the UK and indeed across the globe as we came together to celebrate 70 years of Her Majesty's reign.
It was wonderful to see our District come to life over the four day weekend, adorned with flags and street parties (and a very patriotic street vehicle!) which brought over 2.6 million visitors to our District, providing a welcome sense of togetherness and joy at the start to the first restriction-free summer since the pandemic. You can find out more about our Jubilee celebrations and key media coverage in the section below.
Last month we were also delighted to be joined by the Mayor of London, Deputy Mayor of London for business & Deputy Mayor of London for Transport at our Board meeting. We discussed key West End issues & priorities, including the opening of the Elizabeth Line, the Oxford Street District transformation & planning & development across our area. We also touched on our ambition to create a Zero Emissions Transport Zone across the West End, for which our partnership with the Greater London Authority will be integral to our delivery.
Finally, it was a pleasure to host the Leader of Westminster City Council, Cllr Adam Hug and members of his cabinet to our Summer Reception earlier this week. This, alongside our Annual Review gave members and partners a chance to hear more about our achievements over the past 12 months, which you can read here, but also engage with the New West End Company team and new Council administration on our shared priorities for the year ahead.
Read on for a few more updates on what we have been up to over the past few months, including our Platinum Jubilee celebrations, the Elizabeth Line Opening and our next steps on our journey towards becoming a Zero Emissions Transport Zone.
PLATINUM JUBILEE CELEBRATIONS
London's West End turned red, white and blue for Her Majesty's Platinum Jubilee last weekend, but below the flags and behind the scenes, was a flurry of activity and activations to celebrate this momentous occassion.
ONLY IN THE WEST END THIS SUMMER
Alongside our partners at The Crown Estate, Grosvenor Property UK, Shaftesbury, Capco & Heart of London Business Alliance, we launched our interational tourism and customer campaign - Only In The West End This Summer. Kickstarting with the Jubilee celebrations, this campaign showcases an entire summer of celebration here in London's West End. Click here to find out more.
CELEBRATING BOND STREET'S ROYAL HERITAGE
Home to many Royal Warrant holders, Bond Street is steeped in Royal history, and to mark the occassion, we commissioned a new podcast series, narrated by Poppy Delevigne, to celebrate the royal history of this iconic street. Listen here.
BESPOKE TOTE BAGS ON OXFORD STREET
We commissioned award-winning British illustrator Will Rae to create the Limited-Edition Jubilee tote bag for shoppers who spend £30 or more in participating Oxford Street stores over the weekend. We also partnered with Time Out London to promote the give away and the Royal-inspired activity in our District.
INVESTMENT MEDIA CAMPAIGN
Our latest research showed that the West End welcomed 2.6 million visitors to our District, with the Jubilee generating around £80 million spend for our businesses. Following two Summers marred with restrictions, it is important to shape a positive narrative for our District, showcasing that the West End remains on track to recover and thrive post-pandemic. Our campaign generated over 150 pieces of trade, national & international coverage, including Evening Standard, The National, WWD, Drapers & BBC London.
ELIZABETH LINE OPENING
We were delighted to celebrate the opening of the new Elizabeth Line at the end of May when we attended the launch event hosted by Canary Wharf Group, on the eve of the opening. We heard from key stakeholders who have been integral to the delivery of the new Line alongside the Mayor of London & Transport Commissioner Andy Byford. The Elizabeth Line will truly be transformational for central London, and while we don’t yet have Bond Street open, we are already seeing the benefits that this line will bring.
ZERO EMISSIONS TRANSPORT ZONE
Central to the delivery of our ambitions outlined in our West End Road To Zero Action Plan, is the delivery, with our members and partners, of a Zero Emissions Transport Zone in the West End by 2026. Initial conversations have been positive, and are writing to wider stakeholders from the Greater London Authority, Transport for London and Westminster City Council to highlight our key findings from a study carried out in late 2021, which makes a clear case for realising the benefits of a Zero Emission Transport Zone specific to the West End. Click here to read more.
ONLINE SALES TAX
Last month we submitted our response to the Government's Online Sales Tax Consultation as part of its wider Business Tax review. While we do not support any new business tax, if it were introduced, we must ensure it covers all online sales, not just retail, and that all revenue raised must be used to reduce the burden of rates on our businesses. Click here to read our full response.
TAX-FREE SHOPPING UPDATE
Earlier this week New West End Company, The Association of International Retail, Walpole and the French Chamber of Great Britain hosted a campaign update for member businesses on the next steps for the campaign to urge Government to reintroduce tax-free shopping in the UK. Watch the full recording below:
AIR, Walpole and the French Chamber of Great Britain are launching a new Super Membership scheme to allow their members to support this important campaign. Now is our chance to make real progress on these issues. To find out more, please see AIR's note on membership and Super Membership options here.