Heart of London: A year in review
As we approach the end of 2022, Heart of London reflects on the milestones and achievements of a busy year, all made possible due to the strong partnerships we have built with our members and partners.
A year in review:
- Heart of London were voted in for another five-year term: In March we were re-elected as the formal business champion of the West End, meaning we can continue to work with all our 600 strong business membership to ensure London’s West End remains a world-class destination.
- The vision for a new Arts Quarter was launched: We launched our plans to connect a currently underutilised network of small and characterful streets, with a vision to bring them to life with art and culture and create an exciting, new and accessible destination for all. Explore the Arts Quarter scheme via our West End 2027 site.
- Art of London presented Take a Moment: Ray Burmiston’s Take a Moment campaign came to the Piccadilly Lights, in partnership with Art of London, to raise awareness for improved mental health. The celebrity-driven campaign secured a total PR reach of 398 million.
- The long-awaited regulation of pedicabs took a momentous next step: This summer, the Transport Secretary announced plans to introduce legislation to regulate London pedicab operators, following our campaign work alongside Nickie Aiken MP. The legislation will be included in the next Transport Bill and will enforce the need for licensing amongst operators.
- Piccadilly Arcade welcomed 12 new boutique brands: We launched a new pop-up programme in Piccadilly Arcade which saw a vacant unit become home to a monthly rotation of new sustainable fashion, homeware design & creative brands, all of which activated the space in their own unique way. Working in partnership with Westminster City Council and GPE, the programme surpassed itself with high social media and PR attention.
- The Elizabeth Line took its first journey through the West End: On 24 May, Transport for London (TfL) opened the Elizabeth Line, a historic moment for the capital and the UK.
- Art of London launched its vision for a “Brighter Future”: Displayed to millions of visitors throughout the summer, the public artworks commissioned for the “Brighter Future” campaign aimed to instil hope for a cleaner, greener, brighter future for London. The campaign was developed in partnership with the National Gallery X, supported by Westminster City Council and launched alongside comedian Harry Hill.
- Called for support for the hospitality, leisure and culture sector: We launched a West End Recovery campaign to highlight the scale of the staffing crisis in the hospitality sector. Since Brexit, the pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis, businesses are combating a severe shortage of workers. A PR and lobbying campaign has escalated the issue in national media and featured it in a DCMS select committee report.
- Leicester Sq and Piccadilly Circus retained their award-winning Purple Flag status: We were delighted to announce in September that Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus were again awarded the Purple Flag accreditation for the area’s evening and night-time economy. As the only destination in London to receive the award, this is a fantastic achievement for all involved.
- Westminster Works: Working in partnership with Westminster City Council, a new recruitment service for the hospitality sector was launched. Westminster Works engages directly with employers to match them with new staff, with a focus on looking outside of the usual candidates and promoting the hospitality sector as a long-term career
- A new members-only Data & Insights service launched: In October, we launched new, member-exclusive monthly reports on the performance of our area. With access to data like never before, these new reports include granular information on demographics of domestic and international visitors, including age, occupations, gender split as well as visitor behaviour, frequency and dwell time.
- Switched on the first ever St Martin’s Lane Christmas Lights: To end the year, we unveiled and switched on the street’s first-ever Christmas lights display.