We’re pleased to have played our part in making the case for ongoing funding to support the campaign to bring people back to the capital. This will enable London & Partners to run the next stage of the #LetsDoLondon campaign this summer, helping to encourage domestic, European and international visitors.
London’s Central Activities Zone (CAZ) was far more heavily impacted than the CAZ in other UK and global cities, largely driven by its lower number of residents in the centre.
Pre-pandemic, the capital was a significant driver of jobs and growth across the UK:
24% of UKGVA
with nearly 8% from the Central Activity Zone (CAZ)
a £39bn net tax take for the UK
against a total UK deficit of £41bn
17% of total UK jobs
with over 4% in the CAZ
Tracking the return
For the capital to play the fullest possible role in the UK’s recovery, a rapid uplift in footfall in the city centre is critical. We will be using Avison Young’s Cities Recovery Index to track progress.
New West End Company are calling for an exemption to the Sunday Trading Act for the West End, which would boost sales and revenue, increase jobs, and attract tourists to the capital.
Airbnb’s Short-term Lets Registration White Paper
Before the pandemic, tourism was one of the UK’s great success stories. In 2019, the industry made a direct economic contribution of £74.5bn. London alone accounted for 53% of all visits to the UK in 2019, with inbound spending worth £15.7bn, and Airbnb’s offering in the city was worth over £1.2bn and supported over 22,000 jobs. Unsurprisingly, London suffered most out of all UK regions from the complete collapse in international tourism and the dramatic reduction in domestic tourism that resulted from COVID-19.
The tourism industry accounts for 1 in 7 jobs in the capital and contributes almost 12% of London’s GDP. The sector will be integral to London making a strong and fast recovery from the pandemic – and the short-term letting sector is a crucial part of making this happen. Have a read of Airbnb’s UK Registration White Paper, which outlines their proposal for a nationally run registration system, as a framework to support sustainable tourism and enforce London’s 90-night rule. The aim here is to put the UK at the forefront of progressive regulation in the sector.
80% of the attraction-visiting public say they would now use public transport to visit attractions, according to new research from the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions
Using a range of indicators across sectors, the Index shines a light on the inter-relationship between Covid mitigation policies, the city’s response to them and the pace of recovery. You can select sectors to view using the options bar below:
The London Index displayed here includes data points for: Commercial activity: Industry, business sentiment and employment; Hotels and leisure: Restaurant, pub, bar and other leisure activities; Mobility: Journeys by foot, air, train, bus and car; Residential: Residential property market activity; Retail: Footfall, shop visits and consumer confidence; and Return to the Office: Commuting patterns and levels of office occupancy.
Our latest blogs and podcasts on the return to the city:
Our focus at the University of East London (UEL) during this lockdown period has foremost been to support the wellbeing of our students and staff – and also to continue to provide the highest level of careers-focussed education to thousands of learners across the world.
We have worked hard to mitigate the spread of the virus and continue to do so with our asymptomatic testing centre at the Docklands Campus. This continues to remain open and provides a vital service to all those at the university and several local community organisations. This encourages people to return to work and feel safe by having the option of being tested regularly. On a related note, UEL have also just been approved as a vaccination pop-up centre. It reflects on the superb work of the test centre and builds on our efforts to support the residents of Newham and beyond. Research done by UEL also found that students believed the Covid-19 vaccine is necessary for a return to normal university life.
As UEL is a careers-led university, we understand the importance of a comprehensive re-skilling plan due to the rising unemployment in the UK because of the pandemic. For example, UEL has a Knowledge Dock Business and Innovation Centre that continues to encourage and support all alumni and students in any start-ups or entrepreneurial journeys.
Here are a few more examples of how UEL continue to highlight the differences that we are trying to make to local places and communities, either through a partnership with a voluntary sector organisation, local government, or industry – or collaborating with employers on education and training in order to meet skills needs.
Case Study: UEL supports NHS
Project partners: NHS and UEL School of Health, Sport and Bioscience
Advocates: Jane Perry, Dean of Health, Sport and Bioscience and Rob Waterson — Director of Careers and Enterprise, School of Health, Sport and Bioscience
The NHS has been instrumental in supporting our country during Covid-19. UEL has stepped in to support the NHS through various examples: From providing vaccinations to the homeless in the local Borough through to students manning a testing centre on campus, it’s been hands-on. Senior lecturer, Earle Abrahamson, has also been instrumental in successfully working to re-categorise soft tissue therapy in-line with healthcare provision – allowing hundreds of practitioners to remain operational, and patients to receive treatment throughout the pandemic.
The latest example is that of the NHS Nightingale hospital which had become a focal point in the country’s efforts to cope with the pandemic, opened in record time and manned by students, professionals and volunteers alike.Given its transient nature, the hospital was given just a fortnight’s closure notice in early March, leaving hundreds of staff needing to quickly plan their next steps.
Rob Waterson from UEL volunteered to step forward, delivering a presentation to over 60 staff, to talk them through of the range of possibilities open to them at the University of East London. From zero-cost, short courses looking at general healthcare through to the pathways available in a range of other disciplines – nursing, physiotherapy, and social care, among others – Rob then followed up directly with close to 20 Nightingale staff to advise on their future plans.
Rob Waterson said, “Playing an active role in our community is important to us, and we will continue to provide support for Nightingale staff seeking their next step, be it in the classroom or professionally.”
Case Study: Brickfield Newham
Project partners: A collaboration between UEL, V&A Research Institute, V&A East and Brickfield and hosted by Newham Heritage Month.
Advocates: Dr Lynne McCarthy (UEL), Dr Georgia Haseldine (V&A Museum) and Soeren Frederick Williams (UEL mature student)
In collaboration with the V&A, as part of Newham’s Heritage Month, UEL students and staff are bringing an exciting performance to the heart of the Royal Docks – the first post-pandemic performance in the area. Striking at the core of the relationship between city and citizens, the Stratford Brickfield event will use performative arts and creative construction to demonstrate to the young people of Newham how to make bricks, self-advocate through performance and reconnect with their city in the face of unemployment, housing concerns and the distances created by Covid.
Participants will reflect on the nature of their surroundings and in turn, their surroundings will be reflected back to them through radio installations and performance workshops, led by UEL students. The brickmakers will learn about the history of bricks and brickmaking, labour and construction, the commodification of housing and the very earth beneath their feet as they work.
The event will begin with a week-long residency for the young brickmakers and conclude with an open weekend for the public to enjoy the artistic expression of Newham young people in a safe and accessible environment. This has been an ongoing project during lockdown, but the final performance will take place end of May 2020.
Case Study: Shed-life project in Barking
Project partners: National Lottery, Healthy New Towns & Thames Talk (Barking Riverside London), London Borough of Barking & Dagenham, Trust For London, Creekmouth Preservation Society – and UEL Architecture students: Dalal Abdullah, Omnia Al Temnah, Siclania Barroso, Georgette Ivette Wilthew Estefan, Mohammad Farahani, Maria Gradinar, Sonia Nohemy Medina Munoz, Atefeh Sargazi, Cherine Shawa, Gozde Tuncbilek, Teinane Chibuike Jesse Warekuromo, Yesim Yumrutas
Advocate: Dr Anastasia Karandinou
Social exclusion, isolation and loneliness was an everyday phenomenon for many older men in East London (even pre-Covid days) and this eventually led to residents on a housing estate in Barking to shape their own solutions. The answer came in the creation of a ‘shed’ – a communal hub serving people of different generations.
The Shed-Life project was launched in 2018, with funding from the National Lottery and others, by residents of the Thames View Tenants Association, Humourisk director Susie Miller, and community and business partners. These groups partnered with the University of East London to design a next- generation ‘super shed’.
The exterior design began in 2019 courtesy of UEL’s postgraduate architecture programme, led by Alan Chandler. In October 2020, postgraduate interior design students, led by course leader Dr Anastasia Karandinou, began designing the interior of the shed with concepts developed in consultation with the local community. The build is due in summer 2021.
Susie Miller Oduniyi, artistic director of engagement enterprise Humourisk, a project partner, said, “Collaborating with UEL’s MA Architecture and Interior Design students and their lecturers has been an amazing experience for the Shed-Life steering group, giving us the opportunity to co-design an inspiring and ambitious ‘shed’ that exceeded our expectations.
“This project engages many who have not had very positive experiences of formal education; co-designing the shed with UEL has exposed the group to an academic environment and given them an understanding of the complexity and considerations of user-centred design. UEL listened and respected the expertise of the steering group as local people and the process has kept the project alive and vital during a very challenging year.”