Bain analysis informs London First recovery plan post COVID

By Kate Birch
London First report draws on Bain & Company analysis to highlight impact of pandemic on the city, calls for levelling up from UK Government

A new report from London First, a UK-based not-for-profit business campaigning group, says the UK Government needs to support the city’s recovery plan as it has been harder hit by the COVID-19 pandemic than other cities.

Using insight from Bain & Company, the report highlights both the social and economic impact on the city, and the need for levelling up – a policy pledge that focusses more on regions outside of the capital.

However, London’s Central Activities Zone (CAZ) which features a high concentration of hospitality, retail, arts, education and real estate, coupled with a low population density, means footfall has fallen suffered more than most other cities.

• London’s CAZ footfall in August 2020 was only 27% of pre-COVID-19 levels according to the report, compared to 41% in Manchester and 47% in Birmingham.

• Population density of Paris in 2.7 times that of London.

• London also has around 13% of the UK population but accounts for a disproportionate 23% of GDP.

When you consider that the UK’s real GDP also fell by 9.9% in 2020, the hardest hit of the G7 countries, London could face significant impact on its standing as a global powerhouse.

Backing London recovery could yield UK up to £35bn

The report, entitled Central Government’s role in helping London drive recovery, calls for the following measures and funding over three years:

  • A large-scale campaign to bring people back to central London (£170m)
  • Investment in public transport including a long-term sustainable funding solution for Transport for London (up to £1.5bn)
  • A business-led reskilling programme (£10m) to support those whose jobs have been displaced by the pandemic.

The report claims these initiatives could yield up to £35bn in gross value added over the next three years.

“Building a successful global Britain needs a vibrant, growing London,” said John Dickie Chief Executive of London First. “Acting now will minimise economic scarring from the pandemic and generate growth for the benefit of the whole UK.”



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