We lead and participate in campaigns that drive global competitiveness and prosperity for London’s West End.

An influential business voice
An influential business voice

An influential business voice

Social, Economic & Environmental Campaigning

Driving campaigns for long term growth

Attracting customers & driving spend

Inward Investment & Global promotion

A Snapshot of Our Work

We advocate for policies that create jobs and promote long-term good economic growth. To access our latest submissions, please contact our Head of Advocacy at pauldavoutbarnes@gmail.com.

Business Rates

In April 2017, business rates underwent their first revaluation for seven years; causing businesses to face significant increases to their tax bill. Since then, we have worked closely with businesses to call on Government for a better deal.

London businesses were particularly affected by the revaluation, with many West End businesses facing up to 80% increases whilst revenue has only increased 30% over the same period. This is set to lead to an additional £125 million annual bill for the West End.

Through a prolonged media and lobbying campaign, the alliance persuaded the Chancellor to announce a reduced cap on rate rises for large businesses . This campaign saved West End businesses £10 million over three years compared with the original proposals and a £300 million new national relief fund, of which Westminster City Council received over £21 million.

  • In June 2018, New West End Company submitted evidence to the House of Commons Select Committee on the Housing, Communities and Local Government inquiry into ‘High Streets and Town Centres 2030’.
  • In the Autumn Budget, the Chancellor announced relief for smaller businesses. Although this did not impact the majority of businesses in the West End, we support the move as a step in the right direction and will continue to campaign for a complete review of business taxation.
  • In September 2020 New West End Company responded to the Government’s call for evidence in the Business Rates Review following the introduction of rates relief during Covid-19.
  • New West End Company also supports using business rate discounts to encourage businesses to invest in making buildings more sustainable. This is being consulted upon by the Government.

Sunday Trading

We are campaigning for the West End International Centre to be exempt from Sunday trading regulations.

We commissioned research demonstrating that just two extra hours would produce an additional net income of £260 million each year and lead to 2,600 new full time equivalent jobs.

We are campaigning Government to change the laws for designated international shopping centres such as the West End, to provide a boost to the tourism industry following Brexit. We believe that this limited proposal will satisfy the concerns of politicians who opposed an England-wide change.

International Visas

We are urging the Government to enhance the Electronic Visa Waiver Scheme for visitors from the GCC.

The current scheme, which only grants international tourists single entry visas at least 48 hours before departure, puts the UK at a major disadvantage compared to the Schengen equivalent. Reviewing these limitations will put the UK back on top as the shopping destination of choice for high-spending tourists. At the very least, the UK needs a visa system that matches and is equal to Schengen to ensure we continue to be competitive for international tourists

Tax-free shopping

In September 2020, the Government announced that it would be end the VAT RES (tax-free shopping) scheme for visitors from ALL countries in the UK. We are working with partners to convince Government to overturn such a damaging decision.

The 16 million non-EU visitors spend around £3 billion on tax-free shopping and a further £14.8 billion on non-tax-free shopping, restaurants, hotels and many other goods and services while they are visiting the UK.

New data from Global Blue (Feb 22), the world’s leading tax-free shopping refund agency, compares the spending of GCC shoppers in the EU in 2019 with levels in 2021. Figures show that Britain is now losing out on these high spending international tourists to its continental competitors, with all tax-free shopping spending now diverted to European Union destinations.

The figures specifically show that spending in Continental Europe has risen across all three categories of overseas shopper:

  • 20% of those shopping in the EU in 2021 had previously only shopped in the UK in 2019, where they spent an annual average of €24,000 each, but spent nothing in the UK and €22,000 each in Continental Europe in 2021.
  • 50% of those shopping the EU in 2021 had previously only shopped in Continental Europe in 2019, and have increased their average annual spending per person in Continental Europe by 10% (€20,000 in 2019 to €22,000 in 2021).
  • The remaining 30% of those shopping in the EU in 2021 had previously shopped in both Continental Europe and the UK in 2019, but have increased their average annual spending per person in Continental Europe by 40% (€14,000 in 2019 to €22,000 in 2021).

New West End Company, along with the British Retail Consortium (BRC)¸ Association of International Retail (AIR), Walpole and colleagues in retail, tourism and airlines across the UK have launched a campaign to convince the Government to overturn what is such a damaging decision.