24-hour London worth £30bn to capital's economy

Unlocking London’s night-time economy will deliver a £4bn boost to the capital and create an extra 70,000 jobs, a new report has found.

Research published Thursday said the introduction of the Night Tube, along with a relaxation of licencing laws and other tweaks to help Londoners make the most of the capital around the clock would also increase the city’s attractiveness as a hub for overseas businesses.

Night-time industries in London already account for £26bn of economic output and around one in every eight jobs. The report, which was compiled by the Centre for Economic and Business Research for EY and business group London First, found this could rise to £30bn by 2030 if London becomes “a truly 24-hour city”.

After 12 months of setbacks, the Night Tube is finally set to launch on Friday 19 August, letting passengers travel on the busiest bits of the underground network through the night on Fridays and Saturdays.

Read more: Panic at the disco? Nightclubs struggle to compete with pubs

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “The Night Tube opening is a fantastic and exciting opportunity for London. It will unlock the full potential of London’s night-time economy and will be a huge driver in creating jobs and supporting hundreds of businesses in our city.”

However, the report argued by limiting the Night Tube to just certain parts of the network and only on weekends, "this concentrates the benefits of the service on the important, but narrow range of accommodation, food and entertainment sectors.

While bars, restaurants, hotels and venues are seen as the frontline of London's night-time economy, a much more significant economic contribution comes from the logistics and deliveries sectors - which work through the night to supply businesses for the next working day - and the healthcare sector which has to operate around the clock.

Industry Night-time economic contribution
Logistics and deliveries £7.8bn
Professional and financial services £5.6bn
Health and social work £5.4bn
Information and communications £4.4bn
Accommodation and food £2.4bn
Facilities management £2.4bn
Retail £1.9bn
Entertainment and recreation £1.3bn

Khan is also preparing to follow other European cities by appointing a “night tsar” to develop policies to help London make the most of its after-hours offerings in sectors beyond just bars and restaurants. Yesterday, Khan's deputy, Rajesh Agrawal, told City A.M. he had already opened discussions with other global cities, including Paris, to strike mini-trade deals around the world.

John Dickie, Director of Strategy & Policy at London First, said: “The night-time economy is already worth nearly 10 per cent of London’s total. Shifting London to a 24-hour city has the potential to increase that share significantly, creating new opportunities, more jobs and greater prosperity.”

Full story: 24-hour London worth £30bn to capital's economy: City A.M.

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