Ken Livingstone, London’s mayor, has pledged to match funding for the West End Business Improvement District (BID) if retailers vote for a new term.
Livingstone announced today he will pledge £17m in matched funding for the New West End Company BID if retailers and property owners give the go ahead in December.
The New West End Company, the BID for Oxford Street, Regent Street and Bond Street set up three years ago, will see a £34m boost over the next five years if it is voted in again following a consultation of its business plan this autumn.
Today it has launched its business plan for up to 2013 and highlighted its achievements which includes 1 million shoppers to a traffic-free event, £40m action plan committed for the district, street crime down over 16% and a call for the removal of buses and a transit system for Oxford Street.
A number of high profile retailers have already vocalised their support including Stuart Rose, chief executive of M&S, Charlie Mayfield chairman at John Lewis and Arcadia boss Philip Green.
Stuart Rose, chief executive, Marks & Spencer said: ‘M&S has two flagship stores in the West End and is keen to ensure that its position as a leading national and international shopping destination is enhanced. The New West End Company continues to play a vital role in achieving this and we are fully supportive of its renewal plans.’
Arcadia boss Sir Philip Green, said: ‘New West End Company ensures that there is a body that can put significant investment into the West End, targeted directly to the needs of the area and particularly the customers. Great progress is being made to improve Oxford Street and make it a great destination."
Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone said: ‘The West End is one of the world's greatest shopping destinations. It is a magnet for visitors from outside the capital and from abroad, and it is one of the things that makes London the exciting and cosmopolitan city it is. It is essential that we maintain and develop what is the UK's premier retail and leisure area, making sure it remains fit for purpose into the 21st century.’