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A new vision for the West End

A 15-year vision for London’s West End has been launched to coordinate £500m of improvements and help secure the area’s future as an economic powerhouse.

The ‘vision’ from the West End Partnership – which includes a £40 million programme to improve Oxford Street – estimates this investment could generate a further £15 billion in development value over the lifetime of the vision programme.

The Partnership was established on the recommendation of the West End Commission, an independent review of the West End which looked at creating a strong voice for a national and regional asset of international standing.

Its ambition is to bring together the voices of public and private stakeholders around key issues to maximise the West End’s influence and tackle important issues such as the evening and night time economy, transport and infrastructure, marketing and public realm.

The new ‘vision document’ for the West End, is designed to:

  • Transform Oxford Street with plans to cut traffic and a policy framework that supports densification and the private sectors funding of better public realm,
  • Bring central London’s digital infrastructure up to world-class standards with fibre broadband speeds that befit a global city,
  • Link up public realm improvements with greater pedestrian freedom and new walking routes,
  • Create new jobs for residents of Westminster with commitment from business to support better pathways to skills and employment; and,
  • Create an exemplar public-private partnership model to bring about these changes.

At the launch was Peter Vernon, chief executive of Grosvenor, who is also representing London First as a member of our board. Peter said:

“In the last 18 months, a genuine coalition has formed around the West End Partnership, a coalition arguably wider than we’ve seen before.

“I would argue there is no fundamental trade-off between growth, job creation and a better experience for residents, between densification and enhancing the unique character of the West End.

“The West End has enormous potential to deliver new and growing businesses, jobs, and a growing quality of life for all who experience it.

“But it won’t be unleashed without new leadership – driving policy, investment and practical change. Business as usual is unacceptable.”

Councillor Philippa Roe, chair of the West End Partnership, reinforced that the Vision would not be “gathering dust” and that it would be underpinned by the Delivery Plan 2015-2030 published alongside the Vision.

Contact: Sara Parkinson, sparkinson@londonfirst.co.uk

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