Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has laid out his vision for strengthening the night-time economy but has come under fire for moving slowly on the initiative.
Mr Khan laid out a number of principles for the dark hours, aiming to even out the balance between alcohol-based entertainments and cultural events which would improve the offer to all age groups.
London’s £26billion night-time economy generates one in eight jobs in the capital and is set to grow.
He said: “Building a vibrant 24-hour city is crucial for London to remain a cultural and economic powerhouse. We have stiff competition from other world cities like Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, Tokyo and New York and I want to make sure London is on the front foot by planning for life at night in the same way the city does for the day.”
At the centre of his drive is night czar Amy Lame and Night Time Commission chair Philip Kolvin.
However, Mr Kolvin came under fire from the London Assembly on Tuesday. He has been in post since the beginning of the year but has yet to assemble a commission and is unlikely to do so until September. Its findings won’t be released under a year later.
He apologised for the delay, blaming “internal processes”. He works one day a week on the initiative.
He said: “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.
What they say
– Senior London Partner at EY Caroline Artis said: “The night-time economy is a key component of the overall attractiveness of London. Our research in this area predicts that the night-time economy could add £2bn a year to the London economy by 2030 and could directly support 790,000 jobs across a variety of industries.
“The opportunities to capitalise on London’s 24 hour economy highlights the need to support this strategy around how best to involve businesses and engage key stakeholder groups to ensure that London remains a vibrant and competitive global city.”
– Chief Executive of the Creative Industries Federation John Kampfner said: “As we highlighted in our report Because The Night, a thriving night scene of pubs, music venues, theatre and late-night gallery openings contributes to the vibrancy and success of the wider creative sector.
“Smaller venues nurture and promote emerging talent and allow artists to build a fanbase. The wider range of culture on offer entertains Londoners but also attracts students and tourists, who are so important for the economy.
“But there are serious challenges to after-hours culture including planning and licensing laws, transport and policing. Addressing these with a single vision makes complete sense.”
– Chairman of The Night Time Industries Association Alan D Miller said: “The fruits of this 24 hour vision for London where all stakeholders are working together in partnership shall be felt across a whole array of sectors across the capital and beyond and shall help elevate London to its rightful position internationally.”
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