The West End
The West End of London is a unique place locally, nationally and internationally. In only a few square miles it provides a shop window to the rest of the country and to the world, showcasing the very best that London and the United Kingdom have to offer whilst highlighting the extraordinary diversity and character of our nation’s capital city.
Over 200 million visitors arrive in the West End each year, while the area is home to thousands of residents. The West End hosts hundreds of world-class shops, hotels, restaurants, galleries, museums, theatres, public spaces and other attractions, while also providing a prestigious base for a huge number of other businesses, academic institutions and community and faith groups.
The independent West End Commission has been established in recognition of the fact that these unique qualities of the West End also bring unique operational and strategic challenges, both in the short term and in the longer term. Against a backdrop of major public events, challenging economic conditions and rapidly shifting consumer and technological trends, there is no room for complacency. Drawing on the evidence and experience of all interested stakeholders, the Chair and Commissioners hope to work towards a long-term strategic framework to ensure that the West End meets the future needs of residents, businesses, communities and visitors alike while continuing to occupy its vital place within London and in the global economy. In doing so they have invited participants to submit their ideas and solutions for making the West End a better place.
What do the Commissioners want to explore?
Key questions include - but are not limited to - the following:
i What is the best way to most effectively balance and manage the overlapping interests of those who live, work and visit the heart of London over the course of the day and night? How can we best consider the totality of economic, social and environmental impacts and the interactions between such competing needs and interests?
ii. How can we assess and articulate the value of the West End to the London and United Kingdom economies and the relationship between the area’s success and the continued growth and development of London as a world-class city?
iii. How effective are existing governance mechanisms and structures are at managing the West End, and what could be improved in order to manage the West End more effectively
iv. What comparisons with other places within the UK and internationally can the West End learn from, drawing on the best that the world has to offer?
v. What are the key barriers to future economic, social and environmental wellbeing in the West End and how can these be overcome? This could include the adequacy of existing infrastructure including transport and power provision; the effectiveness of city management including policing arrangements, the marketing and promotion of the West End to the UK and abroad and a consideration of how businesses can contribute to maintaining mixed, safe, residential communities.
vi. How will future trends and behaviours impact upon the West End and how should the area meet, adapt to and take advantage of these challenges, such as the evolution in customer choice with ever greater online engagement?