08 March 2021
The incoming London mayor must show leadership and ambition to spearhead a post-Covid recovery, develop sustainable prosperity and redefine London’s pitch to the world, according to the CBI.
The nation’s leading business group has today launched its London Revival Plan, a blueprint for the capital’s future which urges the winner of May 6’s ballot to champion the city’s unique strengths and sectors.
Securing a world-leading business ecosystem is named by the CBI as a key priority, alongside:
- Bold borough-level action to tackle inequality, develop skills and encourage investment.
- Urgent action on retrofit and emissions reduction.
- Revival of the Central Activities Zone (CAZ) and development of London’s high streets.
- Collaboration with peers across other mayoral regions to help ensure London’s recovery is shared by the wider UK.
However, the CBI warns it will be ‘critical’ for the new mayor to be ‘more of a partner to business than ever before’ to deliver on these ambitions and strengthen the capital’s international competitiveness.
Jordan Cummins, CBI London Head of Policy, said:
“This mayoral election comes at a pivotal time for London’s economy. As our capital city faces the triple shocks of Coronavirus, Brexit, and climate change, it’s more important than ever London protects its status as a dynamic, progressive, and coveted global city.
“Domestically, London faces a growing levelling-up agenda and a national economy in shock. Internationally, it faces renewed competition for investment and talent, as its peers all seek to build back better. Yet our capital is still the home of ground-breaking industry; still boasts a melting pot of extraordinary talent and is still renowned, the world over, for culture, academia, and research.
“But now is not the time to rest on our laurels. London finds itself under the watchful eye of the world and many of its pre-Covid challenges remain. Housing affordability still prices out key workers, while infrastructure investment is still critical to London’s long-term ambitions. And economic and social inequality unfortunately remain currents running through our city.
“That is why, at a moment like this, both leadership and partnership are paramount. Leadership from City Hall will help London redefine and articulate its pitch to the world again. Partnership will help London’s businesses put skin in the game and turn recovery plans into real progress.
“Decisions made by the newly elected Mayor can therefore unlock prosperity in London for years to come, ensuring it remains the most attractive place to live, work and invest.”
The CBI’s manifesto has identified three key principles and a series of recommendations which outline how businesses and the newly-elected mayor can work in tandem to drive recovery and build long-term success.
1) Champion London’s dynamism and global competitiveness.
- Use the recovery to ensure London has a dynamic economy across both inner and outer boroughs.
- Develop a dynamic and world-leading business eco-system to harness diverse entrepreneurialism, support start and scale-ups and SME development, and attract international investment.
- Protect and grow London’s international competitiveness and status as the European epicentre of business, investment, study and tourism.
2) Transform digital and physical infrastructure on the race to net zero.
- Ensure safe and sustainable travel is at the heart of the green recovery, with renewed commitment to electric vehicle infrastructure delivery and stable, long-term investment in TfL.
- Ensure a unified approach to decarbonisation across the capital, supporting industry to work towards net zero and accelerating the development of London’s hydrogen economy.
- Supercharge London’s connectivity and make the capital the most digitally-connected city in the world.
3) Address economic exclusion and stimulate job creation to secure an inclusive workforce for the future.
- Deliver affordable and sustainable homes to aid levelling-up within London and ensure the capital remains an inclusive, accessible and attractive destination for all talent.
- Invest in people today to give them the skills they need for tomorrow.
- Work in partnership with business to ensure London’s recovery tackles inequality to build a truly inclusive and diverse society and economy.
Together, the CBI believes these actions can address inequalities and equip London with the infrastructure, talent and investment needed to thrive through post-pandemic recovery and beyond.