To be an attractive location the City needs an innovative offer, starting from transport
For many City workers, after a week of working from home due to rail strikes, today will be the first day back in the office. People across the Square Mile will hope that the new year brings a swift resolution to the railways’ industrial action. We all want to return and help the City unlock its post-pandemic potential.
Continued rail disruption is deeply disappointing, harming many City businesses who rely on our worker footfall to survive. I’m thinking here particularly of our small and medium-sized enterprises and those working in the hospitality sector. The industrial action we witnessed during the vital Christmas trading period was devastating.
Yet, the new year brings renewed hope that all parties can get around the negotiating table and quickly find a way forward together.
Ending this disruption is key to the City’s recovery.
Unlocking all that the Square Mile has to offer is extensively – but not solely – contingent on transport. A fully functioning public transport system is essential to get commuters back into the City, but alongside this we must give workers a compelling offer that goes beyond just showing up at their desk.
For quite a bit of time now, we have been taking a holistic look at what more we can do to make the City even more attractive.
We want the City’s streets to be bustling, our shops to be busy, our local economy to be back in great shape. That means finding ways to appeal to workers, residents, and tourists alike through art, entertainment, sport, and more.
Last year, we launched our Destination City initiative to reimagine the Square Mile and bolster footfall lost because of the pandemic.
Our Golden Key launch event last October was a tremendous success as we welcomed over 30,000 visitors to the City.
To attract people from across the United Kingdom and beyond, we need to animate our unrivalled heritage and history, celebrate our world-renowned arts and culture, and elevate our attractiveness as a global destination.
As 2023 unfolds, we will announce further plans to burnish our reputation as a place where people want to work, visit, and live. If we can attract more people to the Square Mile and make the streets a more alluring place to spend time and money, the City’s residents, businesses, and workers will all feel the benefits of recovery.
We are the engine of the national economy, home to a record high total of 587,000 jobs in 2021. The City’s financial and professional services firms contribute over thirteen per cent of the UK’s total tax revenue. It’s vital that we make London’s beating heart as competitive and attractive as possible.
Ultimately, a strong City is good for the country, and a strong country is good for the City – it is that simple. To navigate these difficult economic times, we need to give the City, the whole of London, and indeed the country our vote of confidence as the place to be.