A recent article published by the Financial Times anticipated that radical shifts in working patterns risks inflicting permanent economic scars across the UK. Westminster, home to 55,000 business and ordinarily generating £54 billion in GVA annually, has suffered significant drops in footfall through the pandemic, leaving businesses struggling. Business rates holidays have provided support through this period, but how will businesses fare in the future? Looking ahead, which reforms to business rates proposed by the Treasury’s review of business rates present the best, most sustainable options for the West End?
The first installment in the London Property Alliances’ Future of Cities series, this WPA webinar, in partnership with NWEC, explores how business rates reform fits within the current political and economic landscape of the City of Westminster. Drawing on insights from Professor Tony Travers (London School of Economics), the webinar will also provide listeners with an overview of the wider issues faced by the West End and other city centres through Covid-19.
Following a presentation from Professor Tony Travers, leaders from across Westminster’s public and private sectors further discuss the main pressures on the West End, including how changes to the business rates system could help support the West End and ensure that the area continues to thrive as a vibrant cultural, leisure and business destination post-Covid.
- Professor Tony Travers, Director at LSE London
- Dan Thomas, Chief UK Business Correspondent at the FT (Chair)
- Mark Gifford, Executive Chairman of Debenhams
- Cllr Rachael Robathan, Leader of Westminster City Council
- Jace Tyrrell, Chief Executive of New West End Company
- Paul Williams, WPA Vice Chair; Chief Executive of Derwent London