CEO March Update: A Year Of Results, Westminster Recruitment Programme & West End Lights Up For Ukraine

Chief Executive Jace Tyrrell

Jace Tyrrell

Chief Executive

As we come to the end of the first year of this BID term, and the first year of our two year recovery programme, I am thrilled to see how much we, as a District, have achieved.

Our 2022/23 BID year will be pivotal in returning our District to £8.6 billion annual turnover, as forecast my Colliers in our latest West End Retail Turnover Report. The below infographic shows that our tremendous results this past year give us a strong platform for further growth in the year ahead.

This month our West End Recovery LIVE series also came to an end. The series was developed to celebrate the strength, sustainability, resilience and future of the West End at the height of the pandemic, and it was fitting that we finished the series with a forward-looking session to take members through our West End Retail Turnover Forecast. Paddy Gamble, Director – Head of Retail Strategy & Analytics at Colliers took members through a deep dive into the data-driven insights, which you can watch below, and which we hope will provide you with a forward-looking view of retail & leisure sales performance over the next decade.

We certainly are hitting the ground running as we begin our next BID year with April packed full of activity, including our inaugural West End Climate Summit, the return of our Beyond Now campaign on Oxford Street, both of which you can find out more about below and some exciting new street dressings and activations for you to watch out for in the coming weeks.

Read on for some further key updates from the New West End Company team including our recent Select Committee hearing and our newly launched Westminster recruitment programme in partnership with Westminster City Council and The Knightsbridge Partnership

DCMS SELECT COMMITTEE HEARING ON INTERNATIONAL TOURISM

On Tuesday 8 March, Paul Barnes, Head of Advocacy at New West End Company and CEO of the Association of Interntional Retail, appeared in front of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) Commons Select Committee regarding their inquiry into ‘Promoting Britain abroad’ where he made the case for reinstating Tax-Free shopping and enhancing the UK’s visa offering.

Ahead of the hearing, we released the latest figures from Global Blue, exclusively in the Financial Times, to highlight how detrimental the Government decision to abolish tax free shopping is to retailers in the UK. Click here to read the full press release. To find out more, you can see highlights from the Select Committee hearing appearance in the video below:

WESTMINSTER HOSPITALITY & LEISURE RECRUITMENT

Thousands of jobs around the West End and Westminster remain unfilled more than month after the end of all Covid-19 restrictions. In response, we are delighted to announce that Westminster City Council has appointed New West End Company and the Knightsbridge Partnership, which combined represent around 900 businesses, to lead its £1 million drive to fill thousands of jobs across the hospitality & tourism sectors. The consortium has partnered with recruitment specialist Step Ahead and high street vitality agency AttisTowns to deliver an innovative service which aims to recruit at least 2,200 employees in these sectors over the next two years.

Click here to find out more.

Paul Jackson, General Manager at Claridges and Chair New West End Company Hotel Group, Steve Medway, Chief Executive of The Knightsbridge Partnership & Cllr Matthew Green, Cabinet Member for Business, Licensing & Planning at Westminster City Council together with staff at Claridges.

BEYOND NOW ON OXFORD STREET

Actress and activist, Amy Jackson, has joined forces with Oxford Street to launch our sustainability awareness campaign, BEYOND NOW 2022 today. In its second year, BEYOND NOW showcases the ever-evolving journey that some of the UK’s most beloved brands are on to create a more sustainable future for our high street, enabling us to shop more responsibly.

What’s more, Oxford Street is inviting Londoners, visitors and shoppers alike to submit your own #mybeyondnowpromise, a personal promises to drive change towards a more sustainable future, no matter how big or small. This could be anything from re-styling their wardrobe with a mix of old and new season buys to jumping on a bike for a shopping trip. You can submit your #mybeyondnowpromise on the Oxford Street website. To find out more about the campaign, and the brands that are involved, click here.

Amy Jackson for Beyond Now 2022 campaign, Oxford Street, London. Picture date: Tuesday March 22, 2022.

SUPPORT FOR UKRAINE

Last Friday, London’s West End lit up in solidarity with Ukraine. Buildings including Selfridges & Marks and Spencer along with trees lining Oxford Street turned their lights blue and yellow to show support. 

We encourage businesses across the West End to support where they can. Click below for further details from the Mayor of London and Westminster City Council on how Londoners and businesses across the UK can offer their support to the Ukrainian people through organisations working here and overseas to help.

London First is collating pledges from businesses who are able to commit to provide sponsorship and support to Ukrainian nationals arriving in the UK. These will be shared with The Sanctuary Foundation. If your business is able to make a commitment, please contact losborne@londonfirst.co.uk.