Mayor of London Sadiq Khan continues to spread the message to the world that ‘London is open’.
And the West End is also making sure that it remains very much open for business for our customers, new retailers and capital investment.
From traffic reduction and public-realm improvements to tackling air quality, a number of ground-breaking developments are underway to ensure West End businesses are working towards a new vision for our district.
The next few years are set to be no different, particularly with Crossrail’s landmark arrival in 2018.
The new £16bn Elizabeth Line will connect with Bond Street and Tottenham Court Road in the West End and bring an estimated 60m more passengers per year, with turnover surpassing £11bn annually by 2020.
“A bold new West End is needed to cope with increased demand for our world-class retail and leisure offer”
For this reason, a bold new West End is needed to cope with increased demand for our world-class retail and leisure offer.
In the last few weeks, New West End Company launched a major £10m project to upgrade Bond Street in conjunction with Westminster City Council, Transport for London and Bond Street businesses.
The project will run for 18 months and transform London’s leading luxury street – creating high-quality streetscapes, improved traffic management, widened pavements and public art to match the lavish interiors of the boutiques and brands – cementing its role as a truly world-renowned luxury shopping and lifestyle destination.
And it’s not just about transforming old icons, but creating new ones.
The upcoming redevelopment of Bird Street, just off Oxford Street, will be a global first, creating the world’s first ‘smart street’ and traffic-free hub that will host pioneering pop-ups from fashion and technology brands.
It will host Pavegen technology to generate power through human movement, marking a huge step towards making the West End more energy efficient and cutting-edge, and activating an underused space just off the main Oxford Street thoroughfare.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to change the nation’s most-loved shopping district for the better”
These stages of transformation are united under the consultation on the Oxford Street District Vision.
Launched by Westminster City Council and Transport for London last month, the consultation represents an exceptional opportunity to create and deliver a long-term vision for the area.
We have long campaigned on behalf of our members for a reimagining of Oxford Street and our wider West End district incorporating Regent Street and Bond Street.
We will be talking to our businesses, local residents, employees and shoppers to help inform our response to the consultation and encourage all those with a vested interest in the West End’s future to have a say.
This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to change the nation’s most-loved shopping district for the better.
First, we need to address those physical problems – too much traffic, lack of quality spaces, the poor public realm and unacceptable air quality.
But in addition to the physical changes, we need to look at those issues that limit growth.
That means ensuring that the district is given the flexibility to grow in ways that meet the changing retail environment and adapts to changing customer demands.
“We need to continue to innovate to be the number one reason visitors want to come to London”
Oxford Street in particular needs to evolve from a monoculture retail street into one that contains everything that current and future shoppers will expect from a world-class district, whilst retaining its unique charm and character.
With competition from online retailers, destinations abroad and domestic retail centres not going away, we need to continue to innovate to be the number one reason visitors want to come to London.
For our 200 million residents, employees, shoppers and visitors, we are fully committed to creating a new West End for the future.