Like most of Central London, Westminster has been affected by the declining number of international visitors and commuters. However, the extent to which areas have recovered visitor spending varies widely across neighbourhoods, with some doing considerably better than others.
I launched the Let’s Do London international tourism campaign in the US, France and Germany in May this year, backed by £9m of funding; to promote the return of international visitors who contribute significantly to expenditure in Westminster. London & Partners is working with Westminster City Council (WCC) on the West End Future Occupiers Project which aims to refresh the West End experience to meet future consumer demand. My High Streets Data Service is also supporting WCC officers to use visitor spending data to identify local ‘cold spots’ within the local authority that have not yet recovered, to support activation of programmes or partnerships in those areas.
I am also working with Westminster and other central London boroughs to develop an action plan to help the ‘Central Activities Zone’ that includes Westminster recover and adapt to the new economic context.
My officers work closely with WCC senior officials, with the GLA’s Executive Director for Good Growth recently joining the new ‘Future of Westminster’ Commission. I am pleased to say that since Westminster’s new administration took office following this year’s local elections, the new administration has displayed a willingness to work positively with the GLA for the benefit of businesses and residents in Westminster.