Ambitious ‘Destination City’ vision for the Square Mile Back to previous

Ambitious ‘Destination City’ vision for the Square Mile

Author: City of London Corporation


The City of London Corporation has set out a bold new vision for the future of the Square Mile that will ensure it remains a world-leading destination for workers, visitors and residents.

In a statement to the Court of Common Council – the City Corporation’s main decision-making body – Policy Chairman Chris Hayward outlined a package of measures designed to boost the vibrancy of the Square Mile, drive forward its recovery from the pandemic and increase its attractiveness to talent.

‘Destination City’ will enhance the Square Mile’s leisure offer to increase its appeal to existing and new audiences by creating a fun, inclusive, innovative and sustainable ecosystem.

Key commitments include:

  • A £2.5 million annual investment to boost the City’s leisure offer, building on recent cross-London campaigns and creating a leading destination for workers, residents and UK and international visitors to enjoy.
  • An exciting events programme including outdoor festivals, music, art, education, sport and wellness. A first major event will take place this autumn.
  • A new voice for tourism and leisure in the Square Mile will be established, backed by a City Envoy Network consisting of leaders from a range of sectors (membership list in notes to editors).
  • The City’s public realm will be made even more enticing. The opening of the riverside walk at Queenhithe next month will deliver a complete riverside route for the Thames Path through the Square Mile and in September, the viewing platform at 22 Bishopsgate – London’s highest free viewing spot – will open, offering stunning views of the City and beyond.
  • New collaborations with the City’s Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) will include initiatives such as the Fleet Street Quarter’s Experiential Neighbourhood pilot, focused on wellness; as well as the EC BID’s Gen Z programme to attract young people to the area.
  • A partnership with the government’s High Streets Taskforce will explore opportunities to reinvigorate the City’s retail offer, building on the success of flagships One New Change and the Royal Exchange, and celebrating the unique retail offer at Leadenhall Market.
  • A new deal with partners Cornerstone and Freshwave will activate a 5G infrastructure pilot to all mobile networks in October, with full roll out by the end of 2023. This will make the City even more accessible and better connected for visitors, workers and residents.

The launch of Destination City comes as the Elizabeth line – which has been backed by a £200m investment from the City Corporation – prepares to open on 24 May. This will bring an extra 1.5 million people to within a 45-minute commute of the Square Mile.

Policy Chairman of the City of London Corporation, Chris Hayward, said:

“The Square Mile should be a vibrant destination of choice for everyone.

“We must seize this once-in-a-generation opportunity to redefine the City of London and enhance its leisure offer. This will boost our attractiveness to existing audiences while also opening it up to new ones, just as the Elizabeth line is set to connect more people to the City directly than ever before.

“Destination City will be the latest reinvention in the Square Mile’s long history. It will drive our recovery from the pandemic and boost our attractiveness to talent by growing the City’s cultural offer, in turn revitalising our streets and reinvigorating our businesses.

“This ambitious vision will help to ensure that the City is the world’s most innovative, inclusive and sustainable business ecosystem as well as an attractive place to invest, work, live, learn and visit.”

The City of London Corporation is the fourth largest funder of heritage and cultural activities in the UK and invests over £130m every year.

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