Mayor of London appoints city’s first ‘Night Czar’

By Daniel Woolfson

- Last updated on GMT

Khan and Lamé: writer, DJ and broadcaster appointed to 'much-needed' role
Khan and Lamé: writer, DJ and broadcaster appointed to 'much-needed' role

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Sadiq Khan has revealed the identity of London's first night czar to champion the capital’s night-time industry.

The London mayor this morning (4 November) announced the appointment of Amy Lamé, a writer, broadcaster, DJ and former mayoress of Camden, who will work with night-time industries and the authorities to protect and support the city’s night-time industry.

Lamé said: “For too long, the capital’s night-time industry has been under pressure – music venues and nightclubs in particular are closing at an alarming rate.

“With the advent of the Night Tube, and the mayor’s commitment to protect iconic venues across the city, I’m confident that I can inspire a positive change in the way people think about the night-time economy.”

Her appointment makes London the biggest city in the world to have a night czar. Similar roles exist in Amsterdam, Zurich and Paris. Response from the hospitality industry to Lamé's appointment has been wholly positive. 

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR), said: “London is renowned as a world destination and it is important that its night-time economy is at the cutting edge, not just in terms of infrastructure, but also through a hospitality offering that promises the best for customers and a legislative environment that lets businesses thrive.

"Amy has previous experience working as the Mayor of Camden,  an area of London renowned for its thriving hospitality sector and the success of its partnership schemes including the Camden BID.

"We are looking forward to working closely with the Mayor and our new Night Czar to promote London’s first class late-night hospitality offering and to push for a fair and flexible deal for the businesses that make it such an important part of the capital’s economy."

And Brigid Simmons, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), said: "It is great news that London now has a Night Tzar, and I congratulate Amy on her appointment. Amy brings great experience and has the force of personality to make a real difference for London.

“Pubs, and the wider night-time industry in London, are a huge part of our economy.  We need to take advantage of the opportunities to create jobs and growth, as well as tackling some big challenges, not least of which is the threat to London pubs from huge rises in their Business Rates bills."

Much-needed ambassador

The closing of iconic London nightclub​ Fabric after the drug-related deaths of two teenagers saw the issue of night-time business closures thrust into the spotlight earlier this year. More than 140,000 people signed a petition to the mayor to keep the club open.

Mayor Khan said: “The recent closure of the world-famous nightclub Fabric and the threats facing other venues across the capital show why Amy will be a much-needed ambassador for the city after dark.

“Her proven track record of helping save venues, her first-hand experience of the industry over the past two decades as well as her love for London and its nightlife are what make her such a great candidate for the role.”

Mayor's priority

London’s night-time economy has been a priority for the Sadiq Khan since he took office in May.

He introduced the Night Tube with aim of making night-time business more accessible for a greater number of people.

The move was largely welcomed by the city’s late-night operators, 87% of which said they believed it would positively affect their businesses​, according to a survey by the Change Group.

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