Midtown rises in ranking of London's economic hubs

Joanna Bourke

London’s Midtown has overtaken the West End in a ranking of the capital’s most important economic hubs, according to new research.

The area between the City and the West End has an economy worth £20.5 billion a year, economic consultancy Hatch Regeneris has calculated from 2019 data.

That compares to £18.9 billion and £72.8 billion annually respectively for the West End and City.

The research, which was commissioned by BEE Midtown, a business network for 400 local companies, forecasts that by 2025 Midtown’s economy will be worth £24.9 billion, compared to £22.7 billion for the West End. This covers the respective Business Improvement Districts for each of those areas.

Midtown, which is has a high number of workers in the professional and financial services sectors, comprises Bloomsbury, Holborn, St Giles and Farringdon. It is expected to benefit from the arrival of Crossrail in Farringdon, with more transport links for staff and higher footfall.

Alexander Jan is chief economist at engineering consultancy Arup and chairman of BEE Midtown which is supporting the Evening Standard’s Plastic-Free London campaign.

He said Midtown is “home to a highly diversified economy with a spatial concentration of the sorts of high-value, knowledge-based jobs that will improve the UK’s productivity and competitiveness over the long term”.

The latest study, which looked at ONS GVA data, said workers in Midtown on average generate £117,000 annually in terms of their economic output, compared to £101,000 per employee in the West End.

Jace Tyrrell, chief executive of New West End Company, which represents traders in the neighbouring area to Midtown, said: “Our respective areas are unrivalled in their retail, leisure and professional service offerings, all of which come together to strengthen London’s appeal to investors and bolster our economic output.”

Tyrrell said: “Representing 600 businesses in the retail heartland of London’s West End, we believe growth in neighbouring districts only strengthens our collective position as a top global city and contributor to the UK’s GDP.”

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