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Anti-London policies will slow UK financial recovery, report says

The Center for London argues that investment outside of London should not be at the expense of capital

The divisive “them and us” rhetoric about London and the rest of the UK will hamper the national recovery from the cost of living crisis, according to a new report.

The Center for London says there is an opportunity for less antagonism and more partnership with “leveling up” likely to disappear as a political slogan.

The think tank argues that investment outside of London should not be at the expense of capital.

The report, London’s Contribution to the UK, concluded that regional inequalities could be fixed by increasing overall spending, rather than reducing London’s funding. He said that government spending in the capital affects the tax revenue on which investment across the UK depends.

The think tank carried out focus groups involving 2,000 people from London and elsewhere to find out how people feel about London’s dominant status as the country’s only “global” city.

In general, she found people outside London did not resent the capital. However, they were not convinced by arguments about the value of the City’s financial sector to the UK economy, in terms of tax revenue.

And the participants in the focus groups appreciated London’s international reputation and its importance for tourism.

Researchers found that 71% of first-time holiday visitors to the UK come to the city

The Center for London analysis describes the impact of “London-plus” tourism, where London is the “gateway” for visitors but the benefits are spread far beyond.

Researchers found that 71% of first-time holiday visitors to the UK came to the city.

“Together London tourism is estimated to contribute more than £640m in spend per year, driven by the fact that these visitors spend between 24% and 64% more nights in the UK than those visiting only one place,” the report said. .

Indeed, in 2019 before the Covid-19 pandemic, London was visited by almost 22 million tourists – around 63% of the total number who visited England and more than 53% of those who visited the United Kingdom .

Together, they spent almost £16 billion in capital, accounting for 55% of UK tourism spending.

Their spending supported one in seven of all jobs in London, 700,000 of them, and almost 12% of the city’s economic output, according to the researchers.

London’s arts and cultural attractions were found to be a major draw for both domestic and international visitors

The report also found that London’s arts and cultural attractions were a major draw for domestic and international visitors.

However, this is at risk, due to the recently announced reduction in Arts Council funding, which has raised doubts about the future of institutions such as the English National Opera. Under the plans, £24m of annual funding will be diverted out of the capital.

The researchers also believe that many Londoners cannot access the wealth of the city’s cultural venues, and that cuts in public funding will make them less accessible, particularly for low-income families.

According to the report, the capital will “kick-start” public transport innovations such as contactless payment, which will help make London central to UK productivity and creativity.

And the report said that Transport for London entered into a partnership with the private sector that allowed other cities to adapt its systems to their own network.

The English National Opera is currently based in the historic London Coliseum but its future is in doubt

Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a key slogan of his premiership to “raise the bar”, although there was little consensus on what that meant.

With the future of leveling unclear due to the recent political “chaos”, the Center for London argues that the strategy should focus on increasing overall investment spending, not on reducing investment in ‘London.

Claire Harding, director of research, said: “A top-up can help everyone in the UK, but only if it’s done right. It shouldn’t be seen as an opportunity to create divisions between places or simply reduce funding of London, which is not a strategy.that the public wants and only threatens the economy.

“London’s contribution has always been vital to the UK, ranging from a world-class center of education, research and the arts, to a place of pride representing the country on the global stage. We hope that this ir -report convinces policy makers to continue making the case. for the city.”

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