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Square Mile’s Licensing Chief Praises Entrepreneurs And Creatives For “Driving London Forward”

Celebrating London’s vibrant night-time economy and its wealth of licensed venues, the Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Licensing Committee has paid tribute to entrepreneurs and creative people for their contribution to the capital.

During his speech at the Committee’s Dinner, hosted at a venue on the City fringes last night, James Tumbridge told guests that “tomorrow’s city will be driven by today’s people”, adding that London’s vibrancy dated back to Roman times.

Among the subjects covered in James’ address were licensed venues’ enthusiasm to locate to the City, with the number of premises currently standing at 970, and his acknowledgment that the hospitality industry had faced many severe challenges, including Covid restrictions, energy prices, staffing difficulties, and high inflation.

James voiced his support for the City Corporation’s flagship ‘Destination City’ programme, which sets out a vision for the Square Mile to become a world-leading leisure destination for UK and global visitors, workers, and residents to enjoy.

Central to the Committee Chairman’s speech was the message that the City Corporation’s Licensing Team stands ready to assist licensed venues in any way that it can, and that the City is open for business.

“We are here to listen and provide a positive framework in order to help keep London as vibrant as it always has been. We aim to ensure that business knows how we approach licensing, and that means wanting to be prompt and transparent, so that, if you are willing to invest in the City you know what to expect.

“The licensed trade in the Square Mile provides a 24-hour offer, and we hope to see ever more diversity in the offer, and to keep people wanting to visit us.”

Following a five-year absence caused by the pandemic, James welcomed this year’s launch of the ‘Safety Thirst Awards’ scheme, which aims to encourage and promote venues’ high standards in reducing crime and anti-social behaviour.

Guests were also told of the City Corporation’s plans to develop a ‘mapping tool’ to support potential investors and residents alike by mapping streets, spaces, or areas of the City that could be suitable for markets, events, later licensing hours, or more licensed premises.

The evening’s keynote speaker was Alan Miller, who co-created London’s Old Truman Brewery as a business cultural centre; launched the Night Time Industries Association; and co-founded and chairs The Together Association.

Guests enjoyed pre-dinner entertainment by the Barbershop of Brentwood School in Essex.

The City of London Corporation has a statutory duty to administer the Licensing Act 2003, which balances the needs of licensed premises with protections for City residents, workers, other Square Mile businesses, and visitors. Alcohol licensing, entertainment, and the night-time economy are flourishing in the City, and its hospitality sector is a vital part of the Square Mile’s soft power.