In March, New West End Company headed to Hong Kong to attend the UK Government’s GREAT Festival of Innovation. It was a fascinating week discussing future opportunities between the UK, China and Hong Kong as we enter a “golden age” of trade and investment between our nations.
Throughout our visit it was clear that the West End’s reputation as the premier investment location for commercial property continues and demand for space remains high. China and Hong Kong are currently the biggest investors in the West End and this is an upward trend we expect to continue as we witness an increase in visitor numbers and spending in our district. With the technological innovations being driven by New West End Company, such as ensuring that London is 5G by 2021 and promoting cashless payment options such as WeChat and Alipay, we are confident the West End will remain the number one shopping and leisure destination and continue to attract Chinese visitors.
At the GREAT festival we had the pleasure of meeting the Rt Hon Dr Liam Fox MP for an interesting discussion on the future of London’s retail. One of the sessions we attended, entitled “New Destinations: Culture and Commerce”, highlighted the need for retailers to curate experiences in store in order to remain at the forefront of innovation. The West End is leading this evolution – from new food and drink spaces and beauty services to yoga classes in shops – the West End offers a complex mixture of retail, lifestyle and dining options for visitors.
Connectivity was also a key issue for retail centres and in London the Elizabeth line will provide faster transport into the West End from December this year, making the capital more accessible to people outside London as well as bringing international visitors from Heathrow airport in under 30 minutes. Through my discussions with some of the world’s top property professionals on the future of London’s evolving property market, I showcased the opportunities that the Elizabeth line will bring to West End businesses at the end of the year, such as the additional 69.6m people it will transport into the area and the development of property for retail, dining and lifestyle outlets – making the West End even more attractive to visitors and investors.
It is undoubtedly an exciting time to be a part of the transformation of the West End, and we are looking forward to working together with our partners and investors to deliver the vital public realm developments across our district. Click on the following links to find out more about the regeneration projects we are driving and the recent research we have commissioned to investigate the growth opportunities in the West End or get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org
Watch the highlights video from the GREAT Festival of Innovation by clicking below: