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Piccadilly revamp welcome (18 Mar 2010)

London First, the group that represents London’s business interests, welcomes today’s news that Westminster City Council has won its bid for funds from Transport for London to revamp Piccadilly. The bid was backed by London First’s WESt (West End Streets) Steering Group, which brings together business leaders to promote the delivery of key public realm improvements in one of London’s most important business, retail and tourist locations.

Peter Vernon, Chief Executive of Grosvenor (Britain and Ireland) and Chairman of the WESt Steering Group, said:

“I am delighted that Transport for London has agreed to contribute to this critical investment in public realm. We now have the opportunity to transform an internationally recognised location in anticipation of the global attention London will receive in 2012. Piccadilly’s revamp will help secure the West End’s prominence as a tourist and business destination, to London’s long-term economic benefit.”
Baroness Jo Valentine, Chief Executive of London First, said:

“This is great news for London. The West End is a long term driver of economic activity and critical to London’s success as a world city. Its flowering, in the form of Piccadilly’s transformed public realm, will help show London at its best during the Games and provide visitors and potential investors from across the world a taste of what the capital has to offer.

“The focus on Piccadilly should now spur delivery of the constellation of smaller public realm improvements vital to the health of the West End, particularly around Oxford Street, and encourage Westminster to see Legible London and Leicester Square through to completion.”
David Shaw, Head of Regent Street Portfolio at The Crown Estate and member of the WESt Steering Group, said:

“We are delighted that Mayor Boris Johnson has announced Transport for London’s financial support for streetscape and public realm improvements to Piccadilly and Piccadilly Circus. We’re pleased to be able, alongside Westminster City Council, to help fund this innovative scheme with Transport for London. It will deliver major improvements for residents, visitors and businesses alike ahead of the Olympics, in the heart of our major holdings in St James’s and Regent Street.”
ENDS

Notes to Editors

London First is a business membership organisation with a mission to make London the best city in the world in which to do business. London First undertakes this by mobilising the experience, expertise and enthusiasm of the private sector to develop practical solutions to the challenges facing London. London First also seeks to persuade central and London government to make the investments that London needs in its infrastructure.

London First delivers its activities with the support of the capital’s major businesses in key sectors such as finance, professional services, property, ICT, creative industries, hospitality and retail. Membership also includes further education colleges and all of London’s universities. London First members represent over a quarter of London’s GDP.www.LondonFirst.co.uk.

The WESt Steering Group brings together business leaders with a common interest in securing the West End as a showcase to the world during the 2012 Games and beyond. As well as being a long term driver of economic activity critical to London’s success as a world city, the West End also has a large resident population for whom the public realm is an important ingredient for their quality of life.

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