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London Mayor’s Night Time Enterprise Zones Reinvigorate London’s High Streets

A new City Hall report reveals that Bromley, Vauxhall and Woolwich high streets saw spending increase by up to 70 per cent after they became the Mayor’s Night Time Enterprise Zones last year.

The Mayor and Night Czar Amy Lamé announced the £500,000 Night Time Enterprise Zones programme in 2022 to revitalise high streets after 6pm. London’s high streets were hit hard by the impact of the pandemic, and continue to struggle with the spiralling costs of operating and the cost-of-living crisis.

Bromley, Lambeth and Greenwich each received a £130,000 grant from City Hall to improve the offer of their high streets at night, by experimenting with new ways to boost activity and business after 6pm. Throughout 2023, the boroughs used the funding to host a wide variety of events, extend opening hours, support businesses and night workers, and increase safety.

Today’s report – Night Time Enterprise Zones Findings from Bromley, Vauxhall and Woolwich – reveal:

  • 56 events took place across the three zones drawing people to the high street. This included the Library Lates event in Bromley which attracted 3,000 people, Queermas makers market in Vauxhall which 1,800 people attended and more than 4,000 attendees at the Royal Arsenal Riverside Summer Festival in Woolwich
  • 65 businesses extended their opening hours during the events – which increased the average local spend by up to 70 per cent between 6pm and 9pm compared to the same dates in 2022.
  • Over 69 per cent of people surveyed said they felt safer during events and the majority of people surveyed felt more positive about their area **

The programme created new partnerships and networks within the areas, with 646 businesses engaged.

Bromley’s programme included a series of ‘BR1 Lates’ events that brought music, a silent disco, street food, sports and wellbeing and interactive light displays to the high street and nearby spaces like Bromley library. This was alongside a programme offering guidance for businesses operating in the evening, improved lighting and The Umbrella Project which raised awareness about neurodiversity.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I’m delighted that my Night Time Enterprise Zone programme has helped to boost high streets in Bromley, Vauxhall and Woolwich so dramatically. Our high streets are at the heart of our communities but they have been struggling due to the rising cost of doing business and the cost-of-living crisis, as well as the lasting impact of the pandemic. This programme shows that by taking a creative approach and offering more to local people after 6pm there can be far reaching benefits. I’m delighted that these boroughs will be building on their success and we will continue to work with councils, communities and businesses to help pioneer better ways of living, working and doing business at night, as we build a better London for everyone.”

Amy Lamé, London Night Czar, said: “Our capital comes alive at night, but all too often our high streets are left behind and those who work at night do not get the support they need. That’s why we established our Night Time Enterprise Zones programme – and it’s fantastic that Bromley, Greenwich and Lambeth have proven that with the right support our high streets can be transformed and the capital more accessible, inclusive and welcoming after 6pm.”