Advocacy & Insight
An important aspect of our work is how we proactively represent our members and our area with decision makers. Business in Marylebone does not always get the focus and attention of other West End locations so our role is to ensure your voices are heard. We also help to strike the balance of both residential and businesses views being represented.
During Coronavirus, this has never been more important. Central London faces a set of very particular challenges, and we are working with several groups made up of key business and representative bodies to inform campaigns and push for specific assistance and policy changes. This includes:
- Lobbying to improve the Government’s allocation of discretionary lockdown grants to Westminster businesses, ensuring that their role in the capital’s recovery is acknowledged
- Pushing for clarity on duration and extent of financial support for businesses including, critically, a delay to the Chancellor’s planned reintroduction of business rates
- Joining fellow London BIDs in writing to the Mayor to highlight the importance that London & Partners and tourism will play in London and the UK’s economic recovery. This action follows the proposed reduction in funding for London & Partners
- And much more
Elsewhere, our other ongoing priorities include the proposed transformation of Oxford Street, air quality in the area, supporting NWEC’s campaign to reinstate tax-free shopping and more.
We are also members of a wide range of groups, forums and boards, and join forces regularly with our BID neighbours and elsewhere in central London.
For more on how we work to represent the Quarter, visit our Collective Voice page.
Latest Insight – September 2021
We have been regularly surveying our office sector members and monitoring Transport for London passengers data to track worker and visitor activity in the Quarter. As well as helping us build a picture of the area’s recovery, the data helps to inform local retail and hospitality businesses’ resourcing plans.
Our latest survey of office sector businesses tells us that this month the return of workers to the office is not as solid as expected. Numbers are still increasing but it’s incredibly varied by business. Businesses tell us that they expect a greater return in coming months, with current figures of office occupancies being around 35%, the highest since the start of Covid.
- 64% of businesses state they have now established a long-term policy for office working (a 10% increase compared to when we asked in July). Unsurprisingly, almost 80% state that their office working policies differ to pre-Covid times, which demonstrates how much businesses have adapted over the last 18 months
- 50% of businesses are ‘encouraging’ a return to the office in some capacity and a further 30% making it obligatory
- When asked about the frequency of office working at their business, 2-3 days a week less in the office remains the most popular response
We have been compiling the latest Transport for London statistics from our closest stations, Baker Street, Bond Street or Marble Arch.
The data shows:
- A continual, gradual increase in passenger numbers since the beginning of 2021
- Spikes in activity happened at each stage of lockdown restrictions easing, while there was a small dip over Easter
- On average, since 12 April and the easing of restrictions we’re broadly seeing a 6% weekly increase overall
- The latest data shows a spike at the most recent easing of restrictions
- Numbers of travellers at our nearest stations reached 50% of pre-Covid numbers for the first time since the pandemic began – a rise that is expected to continue with the end of the summer holidays and as return to work plans are implemented
You can access the figures at any time here.