London mayor’s 24-hour vision aims to boost night-time economy

By Claire Churchard

- Last updated on GMT

Vibrant city: London Mayor Sadiq Khan has plans to improve night life in the capital
Vibrant city: London Mayor Sadiq Khan has plans to improve night life in the capital

Related tags: Night-time economy, Night, City of london

Pubs in the capital can expect to receive a boost in trade as Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has pledged he will plan for the city’s nightlife in the same way he does for daytime activities, as part of a newly launched 24-hour vision for London.

While the vision encompasses all businesses that contribute to the growing night-time economy worth £26bn and responsible for creating one in eight jobs in the capital, the mayor’s plans will have a direct impact on pubs.

He said the vision will focus on building an after-work-hours’ culture that serves the needs of all Londoners and visitors. To do this, the mayor will look at increasing opening hours where appropriate “to help businesses cope with the recent business rates hike” and ensure the safety and well being of residents, visitors and night-time workers by working with the London boroughs and the police.

He has also pledged to promote night-time culture and leisure to attract investment and tourism and to address potential challenges to the supply of workers from across the European Union after Brexit.

Working with the chair of Night Time Commission Philip Kolvin QC and night czar Amy Lamé, the mayor has set out 10 principles (see box) to enable the capital to become a trailblazing city at night that competes with other world-leading cities such as Berlin, Tokyo and New York.

Vibrant 24-hour city

Lamé and Kolvin will make the vision a reality by working with city planners, licensing experts, venue owners, artists, the police, media entrepreneurs and leaders of major cultural organisations.

Khan said: “I’ve pledged to make growing London’s culture a core priority, and our city’s thriving night-time economy is a key part of this. Building a vibrant 24-hour city is crucial for London to remain a cultural and economic powerhouse – it is also what keeps visitors, workers, students and businesses flocking to our great city.”

He added: “We must create a life at night that works for everyone, showing the world that London is open for business, open for people and ideas, and open 24 hours a day.”

Kolvin said: “London can only become a truly 24-hour city if we can bring everyone across the industry, the boroughs, police, transport and health to work together.

"This vision gives us the guiding principles we need to ensure decisions around planning, licensing and building for the future make the night-time economy a priority.

"With the multi-talented Night Time Commission, we can bring the whole city’s resources together to tackle the challenges we face and to maximise every opportunity for London to become the world-leading night-time economy.”

Lamé added: “The 24-hour vision takes the needs of all Londoners and visitors to the capital into account and will help to shape all our future work to make London a 24-hour metropolis.”

'Welcome recognition'

Commenting on the Mayor's plans, ALMR CEO  Kate Nicholls said: “The Mayor’s proposals to further boost London’s vibrant night-time economy is a welcome recognition of how eating and drinking out contributes to London. It also provides optimism that the innovation and entrepreneurial talents of the sector can be freed to create yet further economic and employment growth, and add to the unique cultural character of the capital.

 “Different elements of day- and night-time economies support each other, so a vision that encompasses both will help to optimise not only the offer that London has for citizens and visitors but also how the capital can continue to set the standard for 24-hour cities around the world.

 “A flexible operating environment provides convenience and opportunities for employers, staff and customers and the Mayor’s vision for London can help to provide that flexibility.”

Ten principles of the Mayor’s night-time vision

The 10 principles of the vision have been developed with businesses, Night Time Economy Borough Champions, the police and many others across the night-time industry. The principles are for London to:

1. Be a global leader.

2. Provide vibrant opportunities for all Londoners, regardless of age, disability, gender, gender identity, race, religion, sexual orientation or means.

3. Promote all forms of cultural, leisure, retail and service activity.

4. Promote the safety and wellbeing of residents, workers and visitors.

5. Promote welcoming and accessible nightlife

6. Promote and protect investment, activity and entrepreneurship.

7. Promote domestic and international visits to London.

8. Be strategically located across London to promote opportunity and minimise impact.

9. Become a 24-hour city that supports flexible lifestyles.

10. Take account of future global and domestic trends in leisure, migration, technology, employment and economics.

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