Heart of London Business Alliance comprises three Business Improvement Districts in the West End. Funded by businesses which operate in the area, over the last five years it has done much to support its members, in the process investing in schemes which make the West End a more attractive place for visitors and benefitting the entire area in many ways.
The area covered by the Alliance is home to 39 West End theatres, all of which have suffered greatly during the Covid disruption. In a concrete show of support for theatre, and the wider cultural offer, HoLBA rapidly commissioned Arup to produce analysis of the economic value of the arts and culture sector to the West End and the UK economy as a whole, along with several projections as to the damage caused and scenarios for recovery together with their projected long-term impacts. The results of that study were a major campaigning tool for the allocation of the Cultural Recovery Fund. You can find my earlier items about this initiative here and here. And you can find the fascinating Arup report here.
The plan is helpfully grouped around themes of Shape, Promote, Manage, Advocate and Support. The standout which caught my eye was the aim to create an Arts Quarter in the small backstreets around the Leicester Square area.
HoLBA said in its announcement “We are delighted to officially share our Business Plan 2022-2027, setting out our vision to build on the reputation of our area as a world-class destination over the next five years. We believe the heart of London is central to the identity of the West End, and we have been consistently championing the interests of our West End business community to drive the recovery of the area following the pandemic.
Our mission remains the same as it was when the BID was founded over two decades ago. We want to maintain London’s status as a global city, and the West End’s prominence as a leading cultural and commercial destination.”
The Business Plan is a bid for a further five years of HoLBA’s initiatives, and is dependent on a positive ballot response from its members, the result of which will be known on March 4th.
You can discover more about the work achieved and find out about planned future projects to help the West End bounce back and thrive by reading their plan which you can find here