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Night-time economy to help save the high street

A new report, 'Think Night: London's Neighbourhoods from 6pm to 6am' by London's Night Time Commission has revealed that the Capital's night time economy can play a major role in helping to save the struggling high street.

The Commission, which was appointed by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan in 2017 to help realise his vision for London as a 24-hour city, has outlined opportunities to make the most of shops and public buildings, which are often empty at night, to tackle the decline in the high street.

It isn't a concern just for London - research has shown that 92% of councils in England believe that the night-time economy can be key in preventing the decline of high street retail.

Ideas include retail units or hotel lobbies hosting public art exhibitions, pop-up markets or performances. Parks, museums, libraries and town halls could also offer more at night the Commission has suggested, building on the success of a number already extending their opening hours.

The report's ten recommendations that the Mayor of London will now consider include establishing a night-time enterprise zone fund, for which boroughs can bid to develop their night-time offer, carrying out research to establish the case for longer opening hours and setting up a night-time data hub including information on the economy, transport, licensing, infrastructure, safety and health.

Future Cities Forum will be discussing this important work at our March discussion event dedicated to planning and place-making.

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