The Future of London Heritage Quarter – Trends up to 2040

London Heritage Quarter have partnered with Arup to assess key trends and developments
impacting the area, up to 2040, and to produce recommendations for action.

Work and skills in 2040

  • The number of jobs in Westminster will grow, but not as fast as elsewhere in London. However, Westminster will remain at the centre of London’s economy, with the highest number of jobs in London at 820,000 by 2040.
  • By 2040, there will be up to 1.1m new green jobs in London, with finance the largest green economy sector. The green transition may be constrained by a lack of skills, and reskilling will require a significant cross-sector effort.
  • UK government is aiming to relocate around one-fifth of civil service roles out of London by 2027. Private sector occupiers may follow, and others may take the vacated space. This shift may unlock opportunities for growing a private sector presence in the area, subject to adapting the office stock to new occupiers’ needs.
  • The ‘flight to quality’ now appears structural. This means that higher specifications and more central locations are winning out over secondary centres and stock and may continue to do so to 2040. Location is increasingly a key factor that determines the desirability of offices. Office swill need to offer a diversity of spaces, from larger, flexible collaboration spaces to smaller spaces for focus tasks or online meetings. Many workspaces will become compelling destinations, drawing workers away from home and third spaces.
  • Employees are returning to the office slowly, but flexible work may lead to right-sizing in the short term. Office occupancy is expected to recover to 2019 levels by 2040 but could be reached as early as 2030 or earlier if the economy grows faster.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) will significantly impact the nature of work by 2040, potentially creating new roles, and augmenting others. London HQ is well-placed to benefits from new and augmented roles created by the AI revolution in the workplace and will remain a desirable venue for in-person

Retail in 2040

  • Central London will gain from a gradual recovery in retail spending. Whilst real worker expenditure might not reach 2019 levels until the mid-2030s, (Arup, 2022), tourism spending is expected to rebound quicker (GLA Economics, 2022). In the long-term, the vibrancy of the retail offer in the
    LHQ area will still depend on a balanced mix of office workers, tourists and locals.
  • In-person stores will remain competitive by providing a more immersive, personalised experience. Some flagship physical stores may introduce theatrical settings through alternative store layouts, lighting design or multi-sensory interventions. Other retailers may prioritise data-driven
    personalised interactions.
  • Consumers and retailers will embrace the era of localism, distinctiveness and attention to ethics. In the short term, this may lead to a shift from major chain brands or innovative forms of co-location. While chain stores may rebound in the long term, they are likely to be repositioned as
    more local and community-oriented.

Read full report here

Mayor confirms landmark off-peak Fridays trial to start on 8 March and makes call to Londoners: #LetsDoFridays

  • Pay as you go with contactless and Oyster fares on Tube and rail across London and the Southeast will be off-peak all day on Fridays from 8 March until 31 May 2024, in an initiative that will be closely watched around the world
  • Trial will also benefit 60+ and Freedom Pass holders who will be able to use their passes all day on Fridays
  • Off-peak fares on Fridays seek to help keep London roaring back, support a further return to the office and provide a further boost to the city’s economy
  • Host of offers to be made available during the trial to further allow Londoners and visitors to make the most of all London has to offer

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today confirmed that a trial where Tube and rail fares on pay as you go with contactless and Oyster will be off-peak all day on Fridays, will begin next Friday on 8 March.

The Mayor has introduced this trial from next Friday to help TfL and rail operators to better understand if off-peak fares on a Friday could help drive ridership and boost London’s wider economic recovery. The three-month trial will run until 31 May and will be keenly watched by major cities looking to bounce back after the pandemic. The trial follows the previous announcement that the Mayor has frozen TfL fares until March 2025, further helping to support Londoners struggling with the cost of living and London’s recovery from the pandemic.

Peak pay as you go fares apply between 06:30 and 09:30 and between 16:00 and 19:00 on both TfL and National Rail services. Making pay as you go journeys on Fridays off-peak all day will make it cheaper for people to travel – potentially supporting economic growth by encouraging more people back onto public transport and into the office on a day that is currently quieter than other weekdays.

TfL and the Train companies have now agreed a trial whereby all pay as you go journeys made using contactless and Oyster (with the exception of journeys to/from Heathrow airport via Zone 1) will be off-peak on Fridays. The daily cap will also be amended during the trial to cap at an off-peak rate on Friday, helping those who make multiple journeys through the day save even more. Bus and Tram fares across London will not change during the trial as they are set at a flat rate of £1.75 regardless of the time of travel.

The trial will also see 60+ London Oyster photocard and Older Persons’ Freedom Passes allowed to be used on TfL and National Rail services before 9am, helping Londoners with these passes to travel for free all day on Fridays.

To fund the trial, £24m has been allocated from the Mayor of London’s recently approved budget, which will be used to compensate TfL and rail operators for lower fares revenue during the trial and cover the costs for running it.

Off-peak Friday fares could give a much-needed boost to London’s businesses and commuters at a time when the cost-of-living continues to bite. As an example, someone commuting in from Uxbridge (Zone 6) into Holborn (Zone 1) would currently pay £5.60 for travelling on the Tube. Under this trial, this fare would be reduced to £3.60 – saving them £2.  Someone commuting from Newbury Park (Zone 4) to Canary Wharf (Zone 2) currently pays £2.80 for the trip. This fare would be reduced down to £1.90 – saving them 90p. On National Rail, someone commuting using pay as you go from Epsom to Waterloo would pay £8.80 midweek but will pay £6.10 on a Friday during the trial – saving them £2.70. These savings would be doubled if the return journey was also made during evening peak hours.

The Mayor hopes that having off-peak fares on Fridays could help encourage more people into the city to make the most of London’s fantastic offering of bars, restaurants, live music venues and theatres. Those who choose to come into the city on Fridays will also be able to make the most of London’s world-leading nightlife, with so many fantastic events and venues to experience this year, as well as the Night Tube and Night Overground running across the weekend.

To further support the trial, TfL and London & Partners, London’s business growth and destination agency, has created a new webpage – – where Londoners can see a range of offers available on Fridays during the trial. They have also been working with Business Improvement Districts across London, and key stakeholders, to identify a range of deals to further encourage people to make the most of their Fridays.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: “I’m doing all I can to support Londoners through the cost-of-living crisis and to support London’s economic recovery. This includes freezing TfL fares for another year to make transport more affordable for millions of Londoners and to encourage more people to use our transport network. But I want to do more.

“Encouraging more people back into the city on Fridays could give a much-needed boost to the hospitality, business and leisure sectors, supporting London’s wider economic growth as we continue to build a fairer, greener and more prosperous London for everyone. So, I’m making a call to all Londoners: to help London keep roaring back – Let’s Do Fridays!”

Shashi Verma, Chief Technology Officer at TfL said: “While millions of people travel using bus, Tube and rail services across London every day, we are still seeing ridership on Fridays, particularly during peak hours, being lower than other days of the week. This trial of making Fridays off-peak will help us better understand how targeted initiatives like this could help potentially support economic growth by encouraging more people back onto public transport and into the office on a day that is currently quieter than other weekdays.”

Jacqueline Starr, Chief Executive Officer at Rail Delivery Group, said: “We want more people to use rail. We’re pleased that train companies are able to work with Transport for London to offer this trial to customers and we hope it will encourage more people onto trains in the capital. We know that people value rail and as seen from our latest research they plan to use it more in the upcoming months.  

“It is a greener, more convenient way to travel into and around London. This trial means customers in London can travel at off-peak prices on Fridays by using pay as you go on Oyster or Contactless.” 

Rose Wangen-Jones, Destination Managing Director at London & Partners, which runs, said: “Friday is the perfect day of the week to explore London, from attractions, galleries and museum lates to unmissable food and drink, nightlife, and theatre. We’re delighted to be working with leading tourism partners across the city to offer up exclusive Friday discounts.

“Broadening the visitor experience for Londoners and visitors alike is a crucial part of our London 2030 Tourism Vision, so we’re very excited to be working with TfL on this initiative.”

Ros Morgan, Chief Executive of Heart of London Business Alliance, said: “TfL data shows that footfall on Fridays, particularly in the daytime, is yet to return to pre-pandemic levels. This is why we have been calling for innovative trials, such as this welcome announcement, to attract more people to the West End. It has the potential to provide a huge boost to our businesses, particularly in the hospitality, retail and cultural sectors.”

Ruth Duston, CEO and Founder of Primera, which operates 12 central London Business Improvement Districts, said: “London has always been a trailblazing city, and it is fantastic to see that our calls for bold action have been heard. Across the BIDs Primera operates, which span the whole of Zone 1, there is no doubt that Fridays are still noticeably quieter than the rest of the week. We are looking forward to working with our partners and stakeholders across the capital to support this trial and put on exciting activations to entice Londoners and visitors to make the most of the off-peak fares.”

City of London Corporation Policy Chairman, Chris Hayward, said: “This is a welcome move for our flagship Destination City programme, which sets out a vision for the Square Mile to become a world-leading leisure destination for UK and global visitors, workers, and residents. The capital has a first-class visitor offer, with unparalleled history, cutting edge arts, and outstanding attractions.

“This agreement could deliver a significant boost for London’s pubs, cafes, restaurants, and cultural sector. Slashing travel costs will encourage even more people to enjoy our great capital – and support our businesses – as footfall continues to reach its steady rise back to pre-pandemic levels.”

Nic Durston, Chief Executive, South Bank Employers’ Group said: “It’s great to see this initiative being trialled to help encourage Friday footfall into central London. This welcome initiative could provide a huge boost to the wider London economy, especially the hospitality and leisure sectors who’ve been impacted by reduced commuter numbers – not just during the day, but the post-work evening economy too. We hope we will see positive results from the trial.”

For more information about the trial – please visit

To see the latest offers for Fridays please visit and

Way to help those sleeping rough this Christmas

What’s on offer at Crisis at Christmas Day Centres this year?

Crisis at Christmas Day Centres are safe, warm and lively places, run by caring and friendly volunteers. They are open for anyone to attend. No referral is needed and guests can show up and join us on the day.

Timings and locations

  • This year Crisis is opening its Christmas Day Centres in three new locations:
    Bermondsey Day Centre, City of London Academy Southwark, SE1 5LA
  • Pimlico Day Centre, Pimlico Academy, SW1V 3AT
  • Stratford Day Centre, School 21, E15 4RZ
    Centres will be open 10am – 5pm from 24 December to 28 December 2023. 

    Guests are expected to make their way to the day centres.

    For full details, please download the guest invite leaflet from their website. 

Download their Day Centre leaflet

What’s on offer?

  • At our day centres guests will have access to:
  •  Hot meals and snacks
  •  Shower facilities
  • Toiletries
  • Advice, information and support
  • Free international phone calls
  • Healthcare, podiatry and opticians
  • A salon service offering haircuts, hair styling, beard trims and nail care
  • Computer access, printing and support to get online
  • Creative sessions
  • Films and TV
  • Games, quizzes and bingo
  • Sports (including a football tournament!)


Crisis at Christmas accommodation is for guests who are sleeping rough. 

If you have clients who are on the streets and need accommodation over the Christmas period, please ask them to contact their outreach worker, who can organise a referral to us.

Terms & Conditions – #NorthbankMural

Terms & Conditions – #NorthbankMural Instagram Competition

Promoters: The Northbank Business Improvement District (Registered office address: 54 Wilton Road, London SW1V 1DE)

1. To participate in this competition, users must share a photo on their Instagram channel of a picture of one of the Northbank Mural and tag @TheNorthbankBID in their post.  

By using the hashtag #NorthbankMural when resharing our image to Instagram, you consent to your image or video being reshared on the @thenorthbankbid social account.

This competition will run from 00:00 on Wednesday day 13th December 2023 until 23:59 on Monday 18th December 2023. Entries made by direct, replies to this T&C page will not be accepted.

2. There will be 1 winner who will be selected at random, after the competition deadline of Monday 18th December 2023, who has fulfilled the criteria in 1) above. Entries made after this point will not be counted.

3. The contest is open to residents of the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) over except for the Promoters employees, all contractors and families or anyone directly connected with the organisation, and operators of its brands and concessions.

4. The prize gift will be Bridgit’s Bakery Classic Afternoon Tea Bus Tour for 4 people

5. Only children from 5 years old are allowed on-board the tea bus.

6. Anyone under the age of 15 must be accompanied by an adult

7. Tables on the bus must be reserved in advance using the voucher reference number and the voucher expires 22 May 2024.

8. If you are the lucky winner, you will need to provide your full name, email address and contact phone number as instructed at the time of being announced as our winner. Further details will then be provided by the promoters as to how you claim your prize.

9. We reserve the right to provide an alternative prize of equal or greater value in the event of unforeseen circumstances.

10. Only one entry per person will be accepted. In the event of multiple entries being received from the same Instagram account, the first entry only will be accepted.

11. No purchase is necessary; however, you will need an internet connection and access to Instagram. No refund may be claimed for expenses incurred in participating in the promotion, including in relation to the use of the internet.

12. We reserve the right to exclude any entries which we believe to be inappropriate, fraudulent, or based on misconduct.

13. The prize is non-transferable, non-refundable and cannot be exchanged for any cash alternatives in whole or in part.

14. The winner will have 48 hours to claim their prize from the date that they are announced as a winner. After this time, we reserve the right to select a new winner.

15. The decisions of the promoters are final and no correspondence will be entered into.

16. By taking part in this promotion, all participants consent to us collecting, storing and using their personal data submitted with their entry for the purposes of this promotion.

17. Any personal data relating to participants will be used solely in accordance with current UK data protection legislation and will not be used for marketing purposes without the individual’s prior consent.

18. The winner’s name can be obtained by sending an SAE and covering letter to: The Northbank Business Improvement District,54 Wilton Road, London SW1V 1DE, after the closure of the promotion.

19. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram. You are providing your information to The Northbank Business Improvement District and not to Instagram. By participating in this promotion, you agree to a complete release of Instagram from any claims.

20. The promoters do not accept responsibility for entries that are lost, damaged or delayed. For example, as a result of network, system development, computer or telecommunications failures or fault of any kind – including any hardware, programming code, databases or software used in the promotion.

21. Winners may be required to participate in related publicity without further reward. E.g. be photographed for website/newspaper stories, provide a short statement about their win.

22. The promoters reserve the right to withdraw or amend without notice this promotion in the event of any unforeseen circumstances outside of its reasonable control.

24. This promotion and these terms and conditions are governed by English law and subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.

25. This promotion is subject to Instagram’s terms of services which can be found at:

New Plan To Tackle Empty Shops In London’s Historic Strand District

Image Credit: @sebarnolddesign

A Strand West Taskforce, made up of members from Westminster City Council, Transport for London, The Northbank BID and property owners, is being established to deliver a 5-year strategy for investment and public realm enhancement across the area stretching from Trafalgar Square to Lancaster Place.

The Taskforce will be focused on delivering a number of measures outlined in a new report commissioned by the Northbank Business Improvement District, Unlocking Potential: Ground Floor Land Use Strategy for the Northbank BID, to identify ways to unlock the potential of Strand and create a sense of place and destination. With links to the river and Covent Garden, the area – which includes Bedford Street, Southampton Street, and Villiers Street – is a key thoroughfare for London workers, residents, and visitors.

But a slow return of office workers to the area has resulted in a substantial level of vacant floor space and a decline in retail offer. Traditional fashion and comparison use has given way to convenience and casual grab-and-go food and drink. In response, the report explores how ground floor space in existing buildings can be better used and adapted to facilitate long-term value creation and increased leasings, with a series of actions for each of the streets.

Informed by the report findings, the taskforce will work to deliver a number of public realm improvements, including:

· Appointing a Central Leasing Advisor to better curate new leasings and tenant mix strategies

· Increasing al fresco dining spots

· Establishing a pop up programme to reduce the number of empty units

· Creating an events programme to encourage greater footfall, dwell time and linked experiences

· Tackling barriers to leasing relating to historic planning conditions, legal agreements, and licensing

CEO of the Northbank BID, Ruth Duston, comments: “Like many places across the country, The Northbank was hit hard by Covid-19, with retail and leisure hurt by lockdown and new hybrid

working models impacting footfall. But the reality is that demand for street-level space was changing across the city pre-pandemic, largely due to increased competition from e-commerce and shifting expectations of consumers for the overall environment and experience.

“As the recent success at Strand Aldwych has shown, partnership is key to delivering coherent large-scale programmes. This is the next step in our ambitious vision for Northbank BID, creating a more vibrant district for future generations and celebrating its historic place in the heart of London.”

Westminster City Councillor, James Small-Edwards added: “The Strand has a rich heritage and it is fantastic to see this initiative bringing an even greater sense of identity, as well as increased investment, to the area.

“It also fits with Westminster City Council’s Fairer Economy plans and principles of good growth, a core focus for us. We look forward to working with The Northbank and other Taskforce members on this project.”


The Northbank Patrol Team help with fire at Trafalgar Square

The Northbank Security Team patrols 7 days a week from 6.30am – 11.30pm to keep the area safe and response to emergencies and low level antisocial behavior. The team responds to calls on the BID radio system, often being the first on the scene to respond to events or medical emergencies.

Security lead officer Rabih, told us about a recent incident in Trafalgar Square.

“We received a message at 18:17 about a cloud of smoke over Trafalgar Square; As Street safety officers, we put public safety at the heart of everything we do.

We went to investigate and we soon realised there was heavy smoke coming from the Admiralty Pub building on the east side of the Square. There was a very thin police presence, so we decided to stay and help out. The Police approached us asking for help. Our task was to stop the public from walking into the direction of the fire, while officers are taping the area around the Square.

We stayed for over 2hrs helping the public with directions, offering alternative routes, and keeping the public away from danger.

Slowly the fire was put out, and more heavy Police presence was established. When we were sure that the area was safe, and the police in total control, we moved on, to carry-on with our Street patrol. We left the area at 8:50”

Northbank BID members can request a free radio to contact Rabih and  the team. To join, please email  

Meet John, lead Ambassador for The Northbank

Ambassadors are the face of the BID on the streets to our visitors and businesses.  Here in Northbank we are committed to building great relationships with our businesses and we are ever mindful that we are a crucial link between the BID Team and our Levy Payers. 

An excellent example of this comes from our lead Northbank Ambassador, John:

“A month ago, I visited the Temple Brew House, and spoke with Ludovica who runs both the Brew House and Daly’s, located on Essex Street.

In the conversation she mentioned that she wanted to know when Freshers’ Week (Welcome Week) is for our two colleges in Northbank, King’s and LSE, and if we had any contacts for them.  I thought this was a great opportunity to link the BID Team with Ludovica and sent an email to the Team to assist.

As a result of this connection, the BID Team personally met with Ludovica, signed her businesses up with the Privilege Card Scheme, discussed security issues and the Night Safety charter, and linked her with the colleges”

I was very proud that this one interaction and email sparked this great connection between the Ludovica, the BID Team and colleges.  This is a prime example of how my Ambassador team can really make a difference to the businesses in the area, and we are working hard to create many more of these positive stories.

To request a business visit from the Ambassador Team, please email

Help us keep the Northbank clean!

During the daytime, Northbank’s clean team of friendly janitors patrol the district, keeping the area spick and span. Last month the team provided a deep clean of Villiers Street, Royal Courts of Justice and the Strand, you can really see the difference on these before and after shots!

The BID providers an on-demand janitorial service, to our members should they require one off cleaning to remove spillages, grime or graffiti. The service is available on Monday to Friday 8am – 4.30pm. To request this service just call 07934 845 503.

In the last three months, the Clean Team:

•       Swept and litter picked 7,161 blocks of pavement
•       Cleaned or removed 823 pieces of graffiti or flyposting
•       Flushed 80,756 sqm of paving with the electric flushing vehicle
•       Carried out nightly intensive washing of paving amounting to 8,800 sqm
•       Washed 161 refuse bins, cleaned parklets and gardens 418 times
•       Cleared 430 on-street waste issues, the janitorial service resolved 281 issues
•       Collected and removed 1,166 bags of rubbish and recyclable waste
•       Removed over 100 bags of leaves