// Westminster Council launches new investment service to encourage new and growing businesses to locate in the area
// This includes new shops, helping entrepreneurs scale-up in the borough, and launching new occupiers
// It comes on the heels of a number of notable recent investments, including the £150m Oxford Street District programme
Westminster Council has launched a new investment service to encourage new and growing businesses to set up shop in central London as the city emerges from the pandemic.
The service aims to attract sustainable investment to contribute to the creation of employment, new shops, assist London-based entrepreneurs to scale their businesses within the Westminster council area and support the launch of new retail and office occupiers in the West End in the wake of the pandemic.
A key part of the service on offer is a tailored “concierge service” that will provide local business intelligence, assistance navigating regulatory services, access to space and introductions to key sector players, among other business requirements.
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Westminster Council said the new service would capitalise on the area’s historic success and recent investment in infrastructure by working with partners, such as local business improvement districts (BIDs), to build and shape the area’s business ecosystem.
According to the the ScaleUp Index 2020, Westminster is home to nine per cent of all UK companies which have received equity investment over the last decade – 1452 companies to be exact – and has the highest density of scale-ups in London.
The council’s new service also comes on the heels of a number of notable recent investments, including the £150 million Oxford Street District programme, The Elizabeth Line project and pedestrianisation of a large section of The Strand – all of which will aim to bring an additional 60 million pedestrians to the West End per year.
“Westminster is the ideal destination for inward investment be it for fintech start-ups or retail pop-ups,” Cr Matthew Green said.
“By launching the Westminster Investment service, we want to make Westminster the most business-friendly borough in London, offering investors the opportunity of not only millions of customers in consumer growth areas, but also giving companies access to one of the world’s most diverse and talented work forces.
“We want businesses from all over the world to achieve their potential in Westminster and we will support investors through a single, entry point that will provide navigational support to investors as well as tailored account management, giving new entries both a warm welcome and a soft landing.”
London Business Alliance chief executive Ros Morgan said: “The West End has been particularly hard hit by the pandemic and attracting new businesses and supporting current occupiers is an essential part of getting back on our feet.
“With centuries of history, heritage and culture, coupled with innovation and new ideas, there is tremendous opportunity in the West End.
“Westminster City Council’s new investment service is an excellent scheme and we look forward to working alongside council to welcome new businesses to this world-class destination.”