Amy Lamé, the Mayor of London’s fabulously titled ‘Night Czar’ visited Chiswick last week to hear from a few of the residents and business people involved in the night time economy, about what support we need in Chiswick.
Chiswick has been singled out as an area which has a night time economy because we have so many restaurants. We also have a theatre and quite a healthy live entertainment culture in our pubs.
Simon Randall, who runs the Headliners Comedy Club, was invited to speak to her and her team, alongside leader of Hounslow Council Steve Curran and his team. Larry Pryce, the Jazz promoter who works with The Chiswick Calendar to run Jazz at George IV, spoke about the importance of keeping music live and local.
Fuller’s, who run many of the pubs in the area, were represented at the meeting, which took place in George IV, a Fuller’s pub. Georgina Wald, Corporate Communications Manager at Fuller, Smith & Turner said:
“Pubs play a huge role in the night time economy and it was great to see the Night Czar showing an interest in suburban areas like Chiswick. There are some interesting thoughts about extending the night time economy – and encouraging shops to trade later too, which would help create a more balanced mix of people later in the evening. However, I think the first step to improving the night time economy – and our high streets in general – would be for the Government to complete it’s promised root and branch review of business rates. You can’t replace a great evening out with an online experience – and to start to lose the high levels of empty retail units, we need to address this digital tax imbalance to stimulate further growth.”
Karen Liebreich and I were invited to chip in our tuppence worth as residents who organise events in Chiswick. The Night Czar also visited the site of the new Chiswick Cinema, and the Italian Job pub in Devonshire Rd. She listened; her team took notes and she promised to report back. If Sadiq Khan is re-elected and the role of Night Czar continues, don’t hold your breath, but it’s not beyond the bounds of possibility that there may even be a bit of economic support coming our way …