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Westminster City Council joins our 'Future High Streets' event in October

Executive Director of Regeneration, Economy and Planning, Westminster City Council, Debbie Jackson (photo courtesy of Westminster City Council)

Future Cities Forum is delighted that Westminster City Council's Executive Director of Regeneration, Economy and Planning, Debbie Jackson, is joining our 'Future High Streets' discussion next month.

Debbie Jackson joined Westminster Council as the Executive Director of Growth, Planning and Housing in July 2020. She has responsibility for a wide range of outcomes including the delivery of high-quality housing, a vibrant economy with opportunities for all and places workers, visitors and residents can enjoy.

Debbie began her career at Westminster in 1997 and has over twenty years’ experience in London’s public sector, building a breadth of experience in regeneration and economic development in particular.

She was responsible for the regeneration of Lambeth’s key town centres including Clapham and Brixton in Lambeth. At the Greater London Authority she led on several high-profile Mayoral programmes including the Good Growth Fund, Crowdfund London, Skills for Londoners Capital Fund and Good Growth by Design.

Westminster City Council has released news that small businesses are being offered the chance to take over a shop on Oxford Street, rent-free, as part of a new project launched this summer, in partnership with the New West End Company.

Called “Meanwhile On: Oxford Street”, the programme invites applications from innovative, cutting-edge and up-and-coming brands who will offer something exciting and new to one of the world's most iconic shopping streets.

The businesses selected can use this high-profile space to bring their brand’s story to life, for example through new technologies such as virtual or augmented reality, interactive exhibitions and in some cases, by bringing the production process to the customer by installing machines in store, opening visitor’s eyes to how clothes and other materials are made.

Meanwhile On: Oxford Street will activate empty spaces previously taken up by low quality occupiers such as American candy stores. The programme forms part of Westminster City Council’s wider Fairer Economy plan to invest in high streets throughout the borough.

The campaign is aimed at businesses looking to launch their first store or physical space. Selected brands will be given a prime store location for an initial six-month period. These opportunities will be 100% rent-free for brands, with a minimum reduction of business rates of 70%. Stores will either be available for single occupancy or as a themed concept store shared between multiple brands.

Additionally, brands will benefit from store design, mentoring, management and marketing support from independent retail consultants, Someday Studios, and Westminster City Council. This represents an exciting package of support for small businesses seeking the opportunity to trade in London’s West End for the first time.


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