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Tue 7th Jun 2022 - London mayor to create new £500,000 ‘enterprise zones’ to boost night time economy in the capital
London mayor to create new £500,000 ‘enterprise zones’ to boost night time economy in the capital: London mayor Sadiq Khan has announced a new £500,000 programme to create Night Time Enterprise Zones to help support the capital’s economic recovery. The zones, of which there will be at least three across London, will enable boroughs to encourage more people to use their high streets after 6pm. Local authorities will work with businesses and communities to develop ideas to make their high streets more accessible, inclusive and welcoming at night. This will include extending opening hours, holding special events, taking measures to improve women’s safety and supporting good work standards for those working at night. It follows the success of a pilot in Waltham Forest in 2019, which helped increase footfall on Walthamstow High Street by 22% and improve safety perceptions. Khan said: “High streets are the lifeblood of our communities and have a key role to play in our economic recovery from the pandemic. Our Night Time Enterprise Zone pilot showed what is possible for our town centres at night, and by expanding the zones to more areas, we will help local authorities and businesses make their high streets more welcoming and inclusive after 6pm.” Amy Lamé, London’s Night Czar, said: “Our city is incredibly active at night, but too often our high streets shut down from 6pm, offering no reason for people to be there. We have an opportunity to work in partnership to boost local businesses, communities and the wellbeing of night workers across the capital. We want to help reimagine our high streets with innovative ideas and help councils, communities and businesses to pioneer better ways of living, working and doing business.” Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UK Hospitality and former chair of the London Night Time Commission, added: “A diverse and vibrant night time offer rooted in the local community is something the Commission recognised as being essential in ensuring our high streets are seen as attractive destinations for everyone after 6pm. This is true now more than ever as we continue to recover from the effects of the pandemic and look at the exciting and emerging ways we are using our high streets and town centres around the clock.”

Brits cut back on dining and drinking out as cost-of-living squeeze continues: Brits cut back on dining and drinking out in May as the cost-of-living squeeze continues to impact consumer spending. According to the latest data from Barclaycard, spending in restaurants was down 5.9% from April and by 1.2% at bars, pubs and clubs. Overall, consumer card spending grew 9.3% in May compared with the same period in 2021, inflated both by the rising cost of living, and the fact last year’s demand was artificially dampened due to the travel and hospitality restrictions still in place. Spending on non-essential items grew 11.6% year-on-year, largely driven by hospitality and leisure spending, which increased significantly (67.2%) compared with the same period last year, when the rule of six was still in place and indoor venues were only open for half of the month. Spending on essential items grew 4.8%, largely propped up by inflation, and a 24.8% surge in fuel spend as petrol and diesel prices continued to climb. There was also a significant rise (83.3%) in public transport spending, reflecting the fact more Brits are now commuting to offices compared with the same period last year, when working-from-home guidance was still in place. It was a particularly strong month for the travel industry, which outpaced inflation and saw triple-digit growth (189.7%) compared with last year, when there were many more international restrictions in place. The sector also grew month-on-month, with travel agents seeing a sizeable uplift of 24.2% and airlines growing 6.6%, as more holidaymakers booked their summer trips abroad. Hotels, resorts and accommodation also grew (1.2%) month-on-month, suggesting a parallel rise in staycation booking in May.

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