Policy Chair welcomes first “signs of spring” for recovery in the Square Mile
The City of London Corporation’s Policy Chair Catherine McGuinness today welcomed the first “signs of spring” for the Square Mile’s recovery from the pandemic.
She highlighted the City’s continued position as a global hub for business and confidence from investors that 2022 will be a “brighter year.”
In a statement to the Court of Common Council, the City Corporation’s main decision-making body, she said:
“Even in a tough economic winter, the signs of spring are around the corner.
“The re-opening of the Waterloo and City line is a welcome boost.
“This signal of confidence in the Square Mile is excellent news for our workers, visitors, and businesses alike.
“2022 should also see the launch of Crossrail, which will bring an additional one million visitors a year to the City.
“Once the Government has lifted restrictions, we will be relaunching our ‘Square Smile’ campaign to support retail, leisure, hospitality, and cultural attractions as workers return to their offices.
“The City of London remains globally competitive for financial and professional services.
“Before the latest restrictions were announced, footfall had bounced back to 70% of pre-Covid levels.
“Meanwhile in 2021, a total of over four million square feet of new office floorspace was given the green light. This represents an increase of almost 70 per cent on the previous year.
“Collectively, these votes of confidence are early signs that investors expect 2022 to be a brighter year in our battle against Covid.”
The Policy Chair also stressed the need to get people back to their workplace as quickly as possible, adding:
“Before Christmas, the Omicron variant cast a shadow over the Square Mile’s recovery.
“Today, the early new year signs are promising.
“We may be passing the peak in London, and the damage caused by Omicron in health terms may not be as great as initially feared.
“For our economic revival, though, the Omicron variant continues to pose significant challenges.
“The Government’s “work from home” advice is a brake on the City’s revival and is damaging our hospitality and retail sector. That’s why we called on government before Christmas for financial support for businesses.
“But financial support is not enough and it is vital that we get workers back to the office as soon as possible.”
Notes to editors
The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK. www.cityoflondon.gov.uk