London’s West End – the world’s greatest retail destination – is set to go from strength-to-strength after an historic vote by the district’s property owners to join forces with retailers to create the UK’s largest retail-led Business Improvement District (BID).
New West End Company, which has been running a BID for retailers in 25 streets including Oxford, Regent and Bond Street for the last decade, will manage the new, combined, BID from January 2016 after property owners voted by 96% in favour to establish the enhanced body.
The leading business voice for the West End’s retail district will manage the £15.9m improvement plan to make the West End one of the most compelling choices for shoppers, retailers and investors in the world over the next 5 years.
Jace Tyrrell, Chief Executive of New West End Company, said: "Today marks a major step forward for our businesses and a £16m boost for the largest and most dynamic retail destination in the world. Property owners and retailers are now part of an organisation committed to driving forward the commercial success of the West End’s retail district. It is a privilege to be the strong and unified business voice for our area. We will continue to work with our partners Westminster City Council, Transport for London and the Mayor of London in delivering tangible improvements to our key shopping streets and pressing the case for policies that lock-in economic success and growth for the long-term."
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson MP, said: "The West End’s retail district is not only an essential component of the London landscape but a major contributor to the UK economy. I congratulate New West End Company on this fantastic achievement that will bring about a unified voice for retailers and property owners throughout London’s West End and champion the needs of the area to secure its future success as a world-class retail destination."
Councillor Daniel Astaire, Cabinet Member for Housing, Regeneration, Business and Economic Development, said: "Westminster City Council welcomes this great result for New West End Company. Partnership working is at the heart of the City of Westminster’s ethos. We have supported New West End Company since its inception and we value our partnership. The formal inclusion of property owners into BIDs will ensure the delivery of a range of initiatives in the West End to safeguard its commercial success and drive economic growth in the city’s commercial heart."
David Shaw OBE, Founder Director of the New West End Company and chairman of New West End Company Property Steering Group which has driven forward the plans for the ballot of property owners said: "The overwhelming "yes" vote in the property ballot from West End property owners is a testament to the great work that New West End Company has done over the last ten years, the hard campaigning work by the New West End Company team and steering group and, most significantly, the importance to the owners of our area. Working together, through New West End Company, property owners and retailers will ensure that London's West End remains the number one retail destination in the world."
Jace Tyrrell added: "The Mayor’s Office, Westminster City Council, Transport for London and our property working group, led by David Shaw of the Crown Estate, have all worked together to help us deliver this success. My thanks go to all of them, and all property owners who support the proposal."