London mayor offers £75k grant to city councils to boost night time economy

The mayor of London is offering the capital’s councils a £75,000 grant to “develop ideas that will support town centres at night.”

(Photo: iStock)

A new Night Time Enterprise Zone is being set up to help councils, businesses and residents test new ideas to boost their high streets after 6pm, mayor Sadiq Khan said on Friday 7 June.

The mayor is trying to incentivise councils across the capital to bid to become the initiative’s first pilot zone. The successful council will receive a £75,000 grant to help authorities develop projects and policies “that will support town centres at night,” according to an emailed statement.

The mayor of London has suggested some ideas which could help to boost London’s night time economy, including running late-night markets, testing longer opening hours, and working with communities and local businesses to help them host cultural events.

The results of the pilot will be used to “shape future plans across the capital.”

Khan has also pledged to fund a new Safer Sounds Partnership, which he hopes will 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.

The night-time economy is expected to grow by £2bn every year by 2030, according to London First CEO Jasmine Whitbread, who said that city dwellers are “demanding a 24-hour live-work-eat-play lifestyle.”

“It is vital that London boroughs take advantage of the pilot and abandon rigid, 20th century planning rules based on a 9-5 high street, to realise the full potential of the night-time economy.”

“Our new Night Time Enterprise Zone will help to boost high streets by delivering innovative ideas that will draw Londoners to their town centres after 6pm,” Khan said. “while the Safer Sounds Partnership will provide support for and drive up standards across the music industry. The bold initiatives we’re taking forward will help ensure the capital works for everyone at night.”

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