Walthamstow High Street will pilot a range of ideas for encouraging the local night time economy, backed by funds from Sadiq Khan.
The Mayor has announced that he will give £75,000 to the borough to spend on providing low-cost space for businesses to hire in the evenings, running a “shop local late” campaign, funding a “reclaim your high street” event for all ages along with other initiatives.
The capital’s first ever Night Time Enterprise Zone, as City Hall has dubbed it, will operate from October until January 2020 in response to a recommendation by his Night Time Commission.
Waltham Forest Council was the first successful bidder to host a zone, following the announcement of the idea in June, aimed at reinvigorating high streets.
Mayor Khan is promoting the zone as part of wider programme to support high streets and a night time economy, citing a study by the Local Government Information Unit and the Portman Group published last year which found a large majority of local authorities across England believe a healthy night time economy is crucial to high streets’ vitality.
Waltham Forest has previously been named London’s borough of culture by the Mayor, and is promoting local arts and cultural activity throughout 2019. Welcoming the enterprise zone designation, council leader Clare Coghill said, “it will help us build on our existing work encouraging more people to use local businesses later in the day”.
Coghill pointed to extending the opening hours of a local shopping centre and buying the 1930s, Grade II-listed EMD cinema building on Hoe Street, which has been refurbished to become a comedy performance venue, as examples of her drive to build and energise local arts and culture.
The Mayor’s Night Czar, Amy Lamé, commented: “Our capital is thriving at night, with two-thirds of Londoners regularly active and 1.6m working between 6pm-6am. There is huge potential for our high streets if we can help them extend what’s on offer.”
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