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West End retailers pledge £25m boost to district

West End retailers have pledged £25m to invest in the shopping district over the next five years as part of the re-election of the New West End Company.

The business secured 85% of the vote from businesses in the area around Oxford Street, Regent Street and Bond Street, renewing its mandate to manage, develop and promote the retail hotspot.

As part of the vote, retailers have committed to investing a total of £25m in the area. Property owners are being asked to make a voluntary contribution.

The funds will go towards a range of developments and improvements that the not-for-profit business has planned over the next five years, including its campaign policy to tackle the “wall of red buses” that cause a gridlock on the main thoroughfare.

“The hard work begins here,” said Richard Dickinson, chief executive of New West End Company.

 “The retail market place is more competitive than ever, and we can’t afford to relax. We must continue to evolve, to strengthen the West End’s offering even more, and to help our businesses continue to be successful.”

Confirming the vote, Dickinson today hinted that the NWEC would also be looking to go head to head with international rival destinations.

“We are ready to roll out our plans to combat increased competition from international overseas markets, Europe and locally, as well as the internet, to ensure the retail district grows share of wallet from domestic and international shoppers,” he said.

John Lewis’ managing director Andy Street said: “We want to see New West End Company playing a central role in helping to make sure London’s West End is ready for the future.

“This can only happen through close collaboration with all retailers in the sector addressing the future major challenges that the area faces. New West End Company is one of the drivers to make this happen.”

Paddy Byng, managing director of Asprey, added: “I encourage the fashion house of Bond Street to continue to support the company. Their renewal is critical to our future success.”

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