West London is a great place to live, work and to invest. It is the third largest economy in the UK after the City of London, and Birmingham.
Many international corporations choose West London as a key location for the quality of the environment, and the connections to the rest of the UK and the World. Through the recession, the West London economy has performed better than many.
However, events this week, with the BBC announcing the moving of more jobs out of the region, are a reminder that any leading position can be lost. A study of East London before 1950 would have revealed an economic dynamo driven by global trade through the one of the World’s busiest ports. Contrast that with the desolate wasteland just thirty years later as containerisation killed the shallow water port.
Could the BBC’s move be the beginning of an economic end for West London? Almost 10% of the jobs in the region are in the creative industries – what will the removal of the single largest client to geographically distant Salford and Cardiff do to the companies in the creative supply chain? What would happen if other similar companies followed suit? Heathrow took off when the Port of London failed. Could Salford become the new White City, or Park Royal?
The real answer here is that all the doomsday scenarios could come true if we don’t take action to stay ahead of other European and UK economies. Planning to stay ahead, to continue growing the West London economy, to make our region even more attractive as an investment destination is essential to staying afloat in this increasingly perilous economic sea.
Place West London, the one-day conference and networking event focussed on economic development, is the place where the public and private sector come together in a unique way to debate these issues, and more. It takes place on Tuesday, October 11 at the Olympia Conference Centre., where delegates will hear Boris Johnson and business leaders talk about investment, development, infrastructure, jobs and skills – and how we will develop them.
Plans for Earls Court, Park Royal and Hounslow will all get an outing, with discussion of the food sector, our town centres, and what we can do to mitigate the departure of the BBC. West London will not stay great unless we plan for it to do so, this is where the planning starts.