2018 in London’s West End

We look back at a challenging but a transformative year for London’s West End & Mayfair.

Read the below milestones we achieved in our key areas of work for our 600 businesses:

Advocacy & Engagement

We have advocated on national, local and London issues to drive reforms to benefit West End businesses. Here are some of our most recent campaigns:

  • We have responded to Westminster City Council’s consultation on the Oxford Street District, welcoming the commitment to £150m of new investment.
  • We have responded to Westminster City Council’s draft City Plan calling for flexibility of building uses, sufficient new commercial space, the promotion of a high quality physical environment and the geographical definition of the West End International Retail Centre.
  • We have campaigned to modernise the system for tax-free shopping which included sending a letter to the Treasury, signed by ten retail and tourism bodies, expressing concern about the lack of progress in this, which secured coverage in The Times.
  • While the Chancellor’s cut to business rates for smaller businesses was a step in the right direction, we will continue to campaign with national bodies for fundamental reform of business taxation.
Transformation Projects & Infrastructure

This year the West End & Mayfair have been transformed with major public realm upgrades to prepare the district for the opening of the Elizabeth Line. This includes:

  • The most ambitious public realm improvement scheme on Bond Street in over 30 years was completed with Westminster City Council and Transport for London.
  • We created a gold award-winning garden off Oxford Street that saw dwell time increase by 44% on the street. We’re currently exploring options for another green space in 2019.
  • We raised £3m towards the public realm scheme at Hanover Square. Works will begin next year.
  • We are on track to begin delivering free Wi-Fi across the district by 2019.
Management & Security

Street management is crucial to ensure the safety and daily running of our district.

  • This year our Clean Team deep cleaned 14 football pitches worth of pavement including over 1 million chewing gums and almost 2,000 incidents of graffiti.
  • Our private Security Team have dealt with over 1,000 anti social behaviour incidents including beggars and rough sleeping.
  • Over the past six months, our Environmental Officer has reported over 4,000 environmental issues in the public realm such as litter, graffiti and faulty street furniture.
  • Since September 2018 our dedicated Metropolitan Police team have arrested 44 offenders, issued 39 Community Protection Notices and made 19 stop & searches.
  • These efforts are the result of our new partnership with the Metropolitan Police, Westminster Council and St Martins-in-the-fields who have come together for the first time in the UK to spearhead a collaborative approach to addressing issues in London’s retail and leisure heartland.
Inward Investment & Insights

This year we launched our new inward investment programme to promote the vast opportunities available in the West End & Mayfair to future occupiers and commercial investors. This included:

  • CEO Jace Tyrrell spoke on three London-focused panels at global real estate conference MIPIM.
  • Team New West End went to New York to promote the importance of British luxury brands to the American market and encourage investment into our world leading shopping and leisure destination.
  • We partnered with the Department for International Trade’s GREAT campaign in Hong Kong to promote the West End to this significant market
  • Our world-first insights programme with PwC is on track to launch next year. To ensure your business will receive these insights contact  lucy.prichard@newwestend.com.
  • We agreed a partnership with our neighbouring BID Heart of London Business Alliance to deliver tailored footfall and sales data for the Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square and St James areas.
Marketing & Commercial

We run innovative marketing campaigns throughout the year but over the past few months Christmas has been the focus with the following activities:

  • On Oxford Street we launched a brand new event format for the Christmas Lights Switch On which received strong positive media coverage with a PR value of £2.3m, a reach of 78.2m on social media and saw a 12% increase in footfall on the night.
  • Thursday 15 November saw The Regent Street Christmas Lights switch-on show take place in partnership with The Crown Estate. This year over 45 brands took part in the festivities with exclusive shopping and dining offers, in store events and on street activities and we saw a 5% increase in footfall.
  • For the first time on Bond Street we hosted an exclusive Christmas shopping evening with luxury service Quintessentially, where over 40 brands participated with festive experiences, gift with purchase offers and promotions.
  • Over the year we have generated over £15m worth of media coverage promoting the West End as a world-class shopping and leisure destination with highlights including BBC News, Evening Standard, Sunday Times and The Guardian.
Tue 18 December 2018