On Thursday 22nd June the IPT in partnership with the Heart of London Business Alliance (HOLBA), took a cross-party group of parliamentarians around HOLBA’s offices as well as some of its members across London’s West End. Those present included: Baroness Merron of Lincoln; Dr Rupa Huq MP; Sir James Duddridge MP; Baroness Blower; Baroness Hooper; Damien Moore MP; and Lord Tope.
HOLBA is the Business Improvement District for Leicester Square, Piccadilly, St James’s, and St Martin’s Lane, representing 600 businesses. The Heart of London area is one of the most culturally rich in the world, sitting at the centre of London’s West End and critical to the UK’s economy and heritage. As a membership organisation and custodian of the area, HOLBA’s purpose is to protect and promote the commercial and cultural well-being of London’s West End. Through area promotion and management, business support, and advocacy, they champion their members’ interests to cement the West End’s importance.
The visit highlighted the wide range of businesses in affiliation with HOLBA, the tour itself included the independent business of Floris London, the world-renowned Fortnum & Mason, and Britain’s only full-time repertory opera company, the English National Opera. This therefore provided insight into all layers of London’s cultural and retail heartland, illustrating the short and long-term challenges that these companies faced, their relationship with HOLBA, and plans for the future. During the visit, the parliamentarians were exposed to the firsthand impacts of leveling-up, the post-covid economy, and even Paris’ 2024 Olympic Games and its detrimental knock-on effect on London’s tourism and industry.
Overall, both HOLBA and the parliamentarians found the visit worthwhile and critical to building the relationship between parliament and UK businesses. Here at the IPT, we would like to thank HOLBA for the fantastic tour and help in organising the industry visit.