Walthamstow named as first-ever ‘Night Time Enterprise Zone’

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today announced that Walthamstow High Street will become the capital’s first ever Night Time Enterprise Zone.

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Waltham Forest has been selected to trial innovative ideas to boost the town centre, support local businesses and improve access to shops and services after 6pm, as part of the Mayor’s work to make London a leading 24-hour global city.

The pilot, which runs from October to January, will see Waltham Forest try out a range of proposals for the high street, including:

  • Offering entrepreneurs low-cost and flexible business spaces to hire in the evenings

  • Establishing a new fund to help business and community groups host events after 6pm

  • Running a ‘shop local late’ campaign

  • Hosting a ‘reclaim your high street event’ with activities for all ages

  • Creating a step-by-step guide for night time businesses to help them apply for planning and licensing approval

  • Encouraging late shopping with a new evening map and events listings

  • Encouraging local people and night time workers to have their say on how to make Walthamstow work better for them after 6pm

The pilot zone, which will receive £75,000 funding from City Hall,  has been created by the Mayor in response to a recommendation from his Night Time Commission. It follows research last year that showed 92 per cent of councils in England believe that the night-time economy can be key in preventing the decline of high street retail.

The results of the pilot will be used to help shape future plans across the city, as part of the Mayor’s work to boost the capital between 6pm and 6am.

Khan has committed to ensuring that the capital meets the needs of all Londoners at night, and has pledged to plan for life at night in the same way the city does for the day.  His work has included launching the Night Tube and Night Overground, teaming up with local authorities and developers to help safeguard night-time venues, setting up a Night Time Borough Champions Network and establishing the Women’s Night Safety Charter.

By winning the competition, Waltham Forest will be able to build on the success of its year as the Mayor’s inaugural London Borough of Culture and Art Night, when public spaces and unusual venues were filled with free art at night.

Night Czar, Amy Lamé, said: “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. I’m excited by Waltham Forest’s proposals as our first pilot Night Time Enterprise Zone and look forward to working together to create an attractive and open life at night for Londoners and our high streets.”