The Nation’s Powerhouse event, 8 November 2016
Response to Autumn Statement from Westminster City Council CEO Charlie Parker
“The Case for the West End funding was submitted by the West End Partnership to the government earlier this year and was widely supported by partners in the West End. This tax incremental finance funding case proposes that Westminster City Council should be allowed to retain locally 6.5% rather than 4% of the £1.8 billion business rates collected by the authority, which would provide over £400m of new public funding over fifteen years. This would be invested in infrastructure improvements and encourage inward investment which would create £12.3 billion in additional economic output and generate at least £2.5 billion in additional tax, as well as over 100,000 jobs and productivity gains in the UK economy.
Our original intention was to secure approval for the proposals in the Autumn Statement but following changes in the government it became clear that this year’s statement was to work differently – less of a set piece setting out of funding plans and not all funding announcements made in either the statement or the Budget. Indeed, as you will have seen, this turned out to be the last Autumn Statement this government intends to hold.
The economic and fiscal case for the West End has been well received by officials and now has good political support. We believe that Ministers will be considering it shortly in the light of the macro-economic priorities it began to outline in the Autumn Statement. Discussions with HM Treasury and civil servants in DCLG and BEIS have moved on from the economic proof of case and are now focussing on how the mechanics of the finance would work in detail and the final terms for the settlement. A decision is therefore expected early in 2017, which will then enable projects awaiting funding to proceed as planned.
We are very grateful for the considerable support given by partners in building this case to date and look forward to continue working with them to secure an early decision on the settlement.”
Read ‘The Case for the West End’ to find out how the West End is powering the nation, and the details of our case to the Treasury.
The West End is one of the most celebrated and exciting places in the world. Comprising just a few square miles, it sits at the heart of a global city projected to expand to 10 million people over the next 15 years. As a national asset with £51 billion annual GVA, it generates 15% of London’s economic output and 3% of the country’s – larger than the City of London’s contribution. It has one of the largest and most diverse concentrations of jobs anywhere in the UK hosting 610,000 employees. It is also a magnet for tourism attracting 31.5 million international and UK visitors in 2015 who spent £11 billion.
Formed in 2013, the West End Partnership brings together senior public service and private sector leaders, academic experts and resident representatives. It was created to be the catalyst and mechanism to enable the West End to accommodate growth, whilst at the same time strengthen its unique cultural character, amenity and openness.
The Partnership will coordinate and initiate action and delivery in response to this growth with new policies, plans and actions which benefit residents, communities, businesses and visitors alike.