Sadiq Khan to invest in London reopening

The mayor of London Sadiq Khan has announced proposals to invest £5m in the eventual reopening of central London.

The mayor of London Sadiq Khan has announced proposals to invest £5m in the eventual reopening of central London.

The investment will include a new drive to attract visitors back into hard-hit retail, pubs and bars, and other hospitality and cultural venues.

Working with the business community, new initiatives will be developed to encourage Londoners and tourists from around the UK back into central London. Proposals are likely to include major events that showcase central London’s public spaces and cultural riches.

London has always benefitted from huge levels of both domestic and international tourism, but that has disappeared due to the pandemic. Recent analysis showed that over the course of 2020, visitors from overseas and the rest of the UK spent nearly £11bn less than in 2019.

"I am determined to do everything I can to help our great city recover as quickly as possible from this appalling pandemic," says Khan. “Crucial to that will be the safe reopening of central London and attracting Londoners and domestic visitors back to our amazing pubs, restaurants, cultural venues and, of course, our major shopping districts like Oxford and Regent Street, and Covent Garden. 

More needed from government 

Khan has repeatedly warned that unless the government urgently comes forward with a significant financial package, major cuts will be inevitable across all mayoral organisations. These cuts would damage public services and significantly hamper London’s ability to drive the economic recovery that is desperately needed.

"We very much welcome the mayor’s focus prioritising hospitality and tourism as the key to London’s recovery," says Kate Nicholls, chief executive at UKHospitality. "Our world class hotels, bars, restaurant and clubs are critical to London not just economically but also socially and culturally. The announcement of significant support to market our tourist sector will be key to boosting consumer and business confidence ahead of a swift, safe and sustainable reopening and a more rapid recovery. We look forward to working with the mayor and other partners to deliver this and welcome back our teams, our guest and our international visitors in due course.”

Image: Greater London Authority