Night Time Enterprise Zones to be created to help revive the capital’s high streets after 6pm. Zones will support councils and businesses to boost high streets and help drive forward the economic recovery…reports Asian Lite News
Mayor Sadiq Khan unveiled a £500,000 programme to create Night Time Enterprise Zones in the capital to help support London’s economic recovery.
The pandemic has had a devastating impact on the capital as businesses and cultural venues faced months of temporary closures and restrictions, but the new Night Time Enterprise Zones will enable boroughs to encourage more people to use their high streets after 6pm and boost the local economy.
The funding, in partnership with the London Economic Action Partnership (LEAP), will create at least three zones across the capital where boroughs will work with businesses and local communities to develop ideas to make their high streets more accessible, inclusive and welcoming at night.
They will be supported to develop a range of ideas, such as extending opening hours or holding special events, taking measures to improve women’s safety and supporting good work standards for those working at night.
It follows the success of a Night Time Enterprise Zone pilot in Waltham Forest in 2019 where extended opening times, events, increased promotion and repurposing council-owned buildings helped to increase footfall on Walthamstow High Street by 22 per cent, improved safety perceptions and widened local participation.
The Night Time Enterprise Zone programme supports the Mayor’s ambition to make London a 24-hour city and work to drive the capital’s economic recovery. It builds on the Mayor’s wider work to support the capital at night, including the first-of-its-kind Women’s Night Safety Charter for councils, businesses and venues to prioritise women’s safety at night, world-leading guidance for councils to develop Night Time Strategies, a Night Time Data Observatory to provide insight to help in decision making, The High Streets for All Challenge Fund to reimagine high streets, and the Culture and Community Spaces At Risk programme which provides dedicated advice and guidance for the most at risk night time spaces, including grassroots live music and LGBTQ+ venues.
“High streets are the lifeblood of our communities and have a key role to play in our economic recovery from the pandemic,” said the mayor. “Our Night Time Enterprise Zone pilot showed what is possible for our town centres at night and by expanding the zones to more areas we will help local authorities and businesses make their high streets more welcoming and inclusive after 6pm. It’s another example of how we are working to build a better London for everyone after the pandemic.”
Amy Lamé, Night Czar, said: “Our city is incredibly active at night, but too often our high streets shut down from 6pm, offering no reason for people to be there. We have an opportunity to work in partnership to boost local businesses, communities and the wellbeing of night workers across the capital. Through our Night Time Enterprise Zone programme we want to help reimagine our high streets with innovative ideas and help councils, communities and businesses to pioneer better ways of living, working and doing business.”