One third of central London venues still haven’t reopened since lockdown

An industry body for hotels, pubs, clubs, restaurants and bars says one in three venues in central London are still closed and will remain that way until footfall in the area returns. 

The forecast was made by trade body UKHospitality, which says that until people return to central London, one third of the area’s venues won’t be able to make a viable comeback. While the figure may not come as a shock to anybody who’s taken a walk around a relatively sleepy West End lately, it’s worth noting that nationwide figures are a bit more buoyant – with just one in five hospitality venues are still shut at present across the UK. 

‘The sector in London has been hit by a triple whammy of drop-off in commuting, lack of international tourism and an absence of cultural activities – and this has been affecting businesses since early February,’ said UKHospitality CEO Kate Nicholls.  

UKHospitality is now calling on more support from the government for staff who work in the sector and for relief for small London businesses struggling to make the necessary comeback.

‘These businesses are critical to underpinning the wider London economy and job market, so it is vital that we have a clear, coherent plan for their recovery and a continuation of support until demand returns. In particular, we urge the government to provide a targeted extension of furlough and a continuation of business rate relief,’ said Nicholls. 

Want to support the places back open? Check out our list of the best restaurants in London.

Missing the West End? London’s theatres could reopen by Christmas. 

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Time Out’s Love Local campaign is supporting local food, drink and culture businesses in London. Find out how you can help save the places that make our city great.

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