City of London to become a world-leading leisure destination for UK and global visitors

UK posts financial and professional services projects worth £2bn in 2022
Credit Unsplash

Everywhere you look, the City is busy.

Whether it’s bars or beer gardens, shops or our streets, the Square Mile is a hive of activity with residents and City workers enjoying the good weather.

The buzz of City crowds is supported by data showing that activity has exceeded pre-pandemic levels on weekday evenings and on the weekends.

Just as importantly, the stats also show that retail spending has recovered to pre-covid levels. For residents and local businesses, this is excellent news.

Even though the Square Mile remains quieter on Mondays and Fridays, the growing success through the rest of the week shows the resilience of our City.

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This ability to change is one of the underlying factors that has made us a global powerhouse: adaptability is woven into our very fabric.

Today, as we have for thousands of years, together, we must change to remain successful. And that is exactly what we are doing through our flagship Destination City programme.

To power our recovery and boost our high streets, we want the City to become a world-leading leisure destination for UK and global visitors.

This will be of great benefit to everyone who lives in the Square Mile. And the ingredients for success are already there.

The Barbican Centre and the Museum of London are already cultural cornerstones of Destination City.

And our Barbican Renewal project will reinvigorate this arts icon on our doorsteps, upgrading its performance venues, bringing underused spaces back to life, and improving the welcome, wayfinding, and digital technology at the site.

Our City neighbourhood is already unique in having over 600 listed buildings and 48 ancient monuments in the small space of one square mile.

And in the place where ancient and modern stand side-by-side, we know that building things to last depends on having good foundations in place.

So we recently launched a major rebranding of the City of London as a visitor destination through a new brand and website – – marking a generational opportunity to write a new chapter in the City’s history.

The new distinctive identity showcases the best of the City’s restaurants, pubs, bars, and culture and heritage attractions to local, UK, and global visitors.

We are already lucky enough to be the best-connected place within one of the best-connected capital cities in the world. We are served by 12 underground stations, eight tube lines, and seven mainline stations, each now playing a key role in the City’s recovery.

And at a time of fierce global competition, we now have a real opportunity to boost our neighbourhoods, creating a self-perpetuating cycle where we strengthen our local streets, drawing more customers, and attracting more business and job local opportunities, which attracts more investment, which then draws more visitors and local jobs.

Chris Hayward is City of London’s Corporation Policy Chairman

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