While some of London’s satellite town centres benefitted from the uplift of a workforce at home, London’s West End saw an unprecedented downturn in visitors. However, this extraordinary moment in history has accelerated the emerging trends that were already coming to the fore, such as:
- Increase in experiential uses
- Meanwhile usage of vacant retail units
- Flexi-use spaces such as pop-up shops or markets
- Incubation of up-and-coming brands and support of independent ownership
- Community-led projects
- Adjusted lease terms for greater flexibility
- Blending the gap between digital and in-person experiences
The West End Curation Programme has been developed to creatively manage this shift in trends and stem economic decline, ensure the West End remains competitive as a global destination and to build on our success to date in attracting high-growth international businesses and support local entrepreneurs to scale.
A partnership by Westminster City Council, London & Partners, Heart of London Business Alliance and New West End Company, the programme seeks to:
- Foster strong partnerships between the investor, local authorities, property owners and occupiers
- Continue to market the West End as a world leading global destination and to develop an ever-higher quality of offer for workers, residents and visitors
- Attract sustainable investment to contribute to the creation of employment and stimulate and accelerate economic growth; creating a vibrant and future thinking tenancy mix that compliments unique personalities across our district
- Animate the West End, providing innovative and inclusive experiences to drive footfall
- Provide increased opportunities for local entrepreneurs and support a pipeline of future occupiers
Initiatives that are central to West End Curation include:
Future Occupiers Programme
London & Partners is the business growth and destination agency for London. They are the official inward investment company for the city and support international brands on their expansion to London.
Supported by Westminster City Council, Heart of London Business Alliance, New West End Company and a consortium of West End property owners, the Future Occupiers Programme is a three-year programme which aims:
- To attract new, long-term retail, leisure and hospitality occupiers into the West End, sourced through London & Partners unique and international networks.
- To deliver positive media activity about the West End as a destination to invest in and visit in international markets – boosting the West End’s reputation and supporting a long-term pipeline for new entrants.
- For further information, please contact Head of Strategic Relations, Angela Reed email@example.com.
Pop-Up & Meanwhile Activations Programme
Originally conceived to take advantage of the business rates holiday period introduced by the Government during the pandemic, the scheme sets out to make Central London units accessible to a new demographic of business for the first time. To date, phases one and two of the scheme have fully activated 12 units in the West End, supporting up-and-coming UK businesses, diversifying the existing offer and creating opportunities for in-person interactions.
Phase three of the scheme sets out to incubate more established, commercial brands via the creation of a life cycle to support the transition of local brands from pop-up occupiers into long-term, rent paying tenants, creating a pipeline of high-quality tenants. Blended retail and cultural activations will provide new experiences. And the programme will utilise discretionary business rate relief and provide a viable and effective option for property owners to activate their units.
For further information, please contact Head of Strategic Relations, Angela Reed firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brands interested in being part of the programme should sign-up for the Westminster Business Newsletter to receive updates.
Westminster Investment Service
The Westminster Investment Service was launched in June 2021 to proactively attract and support businesses to locate, expand and thrive. The service builds on Westminster’s success to date in attracting and supporting high-growth businesses, enabling entrepreneurs to scale and safeguarding employment. Underpinning these elements, the Service is working to ensure the benefits of investment reach Westminster’s communities.
The Investment Service’s work in broadly split into three areas of focus:
Attract – Proactively attracting and enabling sustainable international and domestic business investment
Welcome – Providing a warm welcome and soft landing for new businesses, ensuring incoming businesses are supported through their investment journey and helping them to navigate council services to ensure maximum local benefits
Succeed – Supporting Westminster entrepreneurs and businesses to thrive and grow
The Westminster Investment Service team can be contacted at email@example.com.