The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has just announced a bold new programme to boost the capital's high streets at night, alongside an innovative new partnership to support London's new music scene.
At our June forum we will be discussing the Mayor's cultural infrastructure programme with ambassador Pam Alexander. One aspect of this is the growth of a strong night time economy. At our last event on cultural regeneration in April, Arup's Principal, Arts, Culture & Entertainment, Tateo Nakajima commented that night time music venues in the capital are closing at an alarming rate.
Now a new Night Time Enterprise Zone is to be created to help councils, businesses and residents test new ideas to boost their high streets after 6 pm. Councils across the capital can now bid to become the first pilot zone and receive £75,000 to develop ideas that will support town centres at night.
The pilot zone will be an opportunity for a borough to trial a range of approaches for the high street - such as running night-time markets, testing longer opening hours, or helping shops and hotels host cultural events. The results of the pilot will be used to shape future plans across the capital.
The announcement comes after research revealed that 92 per cent of councils in England believe that the night-time economy can be key in preventing the decline of high street retail.
To support and promote the music industry, the Mayor has also announced today that he has helped to fund a new Safer Sounds Partnership.
Led by the music industry and part of the Safer Business Network, it will unite venue operators and event organisers with police and council licensing teams and the Night Czar Amy Lame.
The partnership 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. It will support venues and help to bring consistent licensing practice across the capital.
A third of London's workers usually work at night and the night-time economy is estimated to be worth more than £26 billion to the capital.