The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced a new programme designed to boost the capital’s high streets at night, along with a new partnership to support the live music scene.
The Night Time Enterprise Zone aims to helps councils, businesses and residents test new ideas to boost their high streets after 6pm. Councils can bid to become the first pilot zone and receive £75,000 to develop ideas.
A borough can use the opportunity to trial a range of approaches, such as longer opening hours and cultural events within stores that would otherwise be closed.
The launch of the programme comes after research revealed that 92% of councils in England believe that the night-time economy can be key in preventing the decline of high street retail.
A third of London’s workers usually work at night and the night-time economy is estimated to be worth more than £26bn to the capital.
The Mayor has also announced Safer Sounds Partnership to support and promote the music industry by uniting venue operators and event organisers with police and council licensing teams and the Night Czar Amy Lamé.
It is designed to make it easier for organisers to put on live music events and safer for music fans by promoting high standards and offering support and training.
Both new initiatives are in response to a report by the Mayor’s Night Time Commission.
“I am really delighted that the Mayor has responded so positively to the recommendations set out in our report and listened carefully to the views Londoners gave us about how best to improve the life of the city at night,” says Kate Nicholls, chair of the Night Time Commission. “I’m particularly pleased that the three central recommendations – the ‘think night’ test, the data led observatory and night time enterprise zones – are to be taken forward. These will have a really transformational impact, unlocking the barriers many Londoners face in carrying out every day activities at night and ensuring that all neighbourhoods and communities can fulfil their potential to be a vibrant, dynamic and exciting place to live, to work and to visit from 6pm to 6am. Giving local communities the power to influence decisions and drive investment and change on their high streets is a welcome step to ensuring that London’s life at night remains world class.”