Mayor reveals Amy Lamé as UK’s first-ever Night Czar
Sadiq Khan today (4 November 2016) revealed the much-anticipated and hotly-contested brand new position of London’s Night Czar had gone to writer, broadcaster, DJ, performer and campaigner Amy Lamé.
London is the biggest city in the world to appoint a Night Czar, and Amy’s hiring comes after the hugely successful creation of night mayors in other cities across the globe from Amsterdam and Berlin, to San Francisco. The position was a key manifesto commitment in Sadiq’s Mayoral election campaign and as the UK’s first-ever Night Czar, Amy will give a boost to London’s flourishing cultural scene, which attracts millions of international visitors each year.
Following the closure of the world-famous nightclub Fabric and at a time when other venues across the capital are under threat, Amy will be a much-needed ambassador for the city after dark. She will champion London’s nightlife both in the UK and internationally and will do vital work with the night time industries, local authorities, the Metropolitan Police, Transport for London and the public to ensure London thrives as a 24-hour city. Sadiq Khan has tasked her with setting out a roadmap of how this vision will be delivered and she will build on opportunities such as the Night Tube to diversify and grow London’s night time economy.
Following phenomenal interest in the role with hundreds of applicants, Amy was appointed based on her extensive knowledge and experience of the night time economy, having built her career in the industry over the last two decades. She has a proven track-record in the area, fighting for the future of one of the capital’s legendary LGBT+ venues, the Royal Vauxhall Tavern (RVT).
Amy is an accomplished writer, television and radio presenter and performer and a leading figure in the capital’s night time industry. Amy is the co-founder and host of the Olivier award-winning Duckie at the RVT, which celebrates its 21st anniversary next month.
Between 2010 and 2011 Amy was Mayoress of Camden. Whilst serving in the ceremonial role, Amy promoted the Borough’s vibrant range of live music venues and nightclubs, and worked with the local authority and a diverse mix of communities.
Amy is a familiar presence on TV, in print and on radio, especially to Londoners. She co-presented alongside Danny Baker for a decade on BBC London 94.9’s much-loved SONY award winning show.
Recent research shows that the night time economy contributes £26.3bn to London’s annual GDP, equivalent to 40 per cent of the UK’s night time economy. This figure is expected to rise to £28.3bn by 2029*, demonstrating the potential for London.
In her first initiative as Night Czar, Amy is planning a series of monthly ‘Night Surgeries’, where she will be out and about across the capital in the evening, speaking directly to businesses, night-time workers, members of the public and residents to get an understanding of Londoners’ views of the night-time economy.
The new Night Czar will also work very closely with the Chair of the Night Time Commission, to capitalise on the growth of London’s night time economy as well as looking at ways to create a safer, more responsible nightlife for the city’s residents. Demonstrating his commitment to the night time economy, the Mayor has decided to continue the work of the Night Time Commission beyond Autumn 2016 and will appoint a new Chair of the Commission in the coming weeks**
The Night Time Commission brings together an array of stakeholders from across the night time industry including the Metropolitan Police, local planning and licensing authorities and club and venue owners.
Night Czar, Amy Lamé, said: “It’s a privilege to be London’s very first Night Czar. I can’t wait to hit the streets and have loads of ideas of what I can do for revellers, night-time workers, businesses and stakeholders. For too long, the capital’s night-time industry has been under pressure - music venues and nightclubs in particular are closing at an alarming rate.
“With the advent of the Night Tube, and the Mayor’s commitment to protect iconic venues across the city, I’m confident that I can inspire a positive change in the way people think about the night time economy. I look forward to bringing together local authorities, the police, Transport for London and many other people from across the night time industries to transform London into a truly 24-hour city.”
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I’m absolutely delighted to announce the appointment of London’s first-ever Night Czar. The recent closure of the world-famous nightclub Fabric and the threats facing other venues across the capital show why Amy will be a much-needed ambassador for the city after dark.
“Amy is a fantastic hire who will give a big boost to our city’s flourishing nightlife which already attracts millions of visitors each year. Her proven track-record of helping save venues, her first-hand experience of the industry over the last two decades as well as her love for London and its nightlife are what make her such a great candidate for the role. She is in an ideal position to work together with venues, authorities, developers and revellers enjoying a night out to solve difficult issues and get new and creative projects going.
“London is now the biggest city in the world to appoint a Night Czar, and over the coming weeks I’ll be going even further and extending the work of the Night Time Commission. I look forward to appointing a new Chair of the Commission to work with Amy to ensure London thrives as a 24-hour-city."
Deputy Mayor for Culture and Creative Industries, Justine Simons said: “Amy is passionate about London and brings first-hand experience to the job – she has campaigned for venues, performed in them and written about them. I know she will unite venue owners, members of the public and all of those who have a stake in our city’s nightlife around a positive vision for London after dark. I’m thrilled that Amy will spearhead the transformation of the capital into a genuine 24-hour-city”
To find out more and to watch Amy talk about the role of Night Czar, visit: www.london.gov.uk/24hourlondon
Quotes from spokespeople across the Night Time Industries:
Mirik Milan, Night Mayor of Amsterdam: “It’s great news to hear that the Mayor has appointed Amy as Night Czar. Speaking from experience, I can tell you it’s not an easy job! I know London will benefit socially, culturally and economically from the appointment. It’s a big step forward for all who work so hard in creating a safe and vibrant nightlife scene.”
Jo Dipple, CEO of UK Music: “The appointment of Amy Lamé as Night Czar is brilliant news for London’s music scene, much of which operates outside 9-5 office hours. In 2015 concerts and festivals attracted 3.2m tourists to London who spent £1bn in the process. Sadiq Khan knows the night-time economy must be sustainable for Londoners, for businesses and for fans. Making Amy Night Czar is the right kind of investment in all our futures. I would like other cities to follow Sadiq’s lead and put a woman in charge of the night.”
Mark Davyd, Music Venues Trust: “Music Venue Trust warmly welcomes the announcement of the first ever Night Czar for London. London's night time economy plays a crucial role in the success of the capital. It is great to see the Mayor of London responding to the recommendations in the Music Venues Rescue Plan of 2015, and we look forward to working with the new Night Czar to ensure that London's grassroots music venues are secured, protected and improved.”
Julian Bird, Chief Executive, Society of London Theatre: "The appointment of the Night Czar demonstrates the huge importance of London's night-time economy, of which theatre is a crucial part. Night after night, incredible work is performed on our stages and we look forward to working together to celebrate and champion this."
Cllr Tony Newman, Leader of Croydon Council: “I’m delighted to welcome Amy as London’s new Night Czar. This appointment is fantastic news for London as a whole and boroughs like Croydon who know the real economic and social value of having a creative and arts-driven nightlife. The new Czar will help support Croydon’s ambition to have a truly thriving evening economy that protects existing businesses, builds on the success of new ventures like Boxpark Croydon, adds value to some of our most significant cultural investments such as our £30m refurbishment of Fairfield Halls, and nurtures creative enterprises and grass root events. We are looking forward to working with Amy and continuing as a prominent player in this exciting new initiative.”
Caroline Artis, Senior London Partner, Ernst & Young: “EY are delighted by the appointment of London’s first Night Czar, who can then act as a champion for the 24-hour economy and help deliver a vision for London as a 24-hour city. Our recent research on London’s 24-hour economy showed that with the right support, it could be worth nearly £30bn by the start of 2030, providing nearly 800,000 jobs. The Night Czar will be able to manage and mediate between the various competing interests to ensure that business continues to thrive in London and further increase London’s position as the most attractive global city to work and do business.”
John Dickie, London First’s director of strategy and policy: “Managing an economy the size of London’s requires us to think outside the limits of 7am to 7pm. We estimate a 24-hour economy could be worth nearly £30 billion each year and the Mayor’s new Night Czar means we have a champion to help realise the full potential of this city’s world-class businesses, culture and night life.”
Cllr Darren Rodwell, London Councils Executive member for city development: “Championing London’s night-time economy has never been more important, particularly in light of Brexit. I congratulate the new Night Czar in being appointed to what promises to be a fast-paced and varied role, encompassing the razzle-dazzle of the West End and East London’s newest clubs and bars. I look forward to working with them on our shared priorities.”
Sophie Linden, Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime: “I’m delighted that Amy has been appointed as London’s first ever Night Czar. This role will be crucial in helping to ensure everyone can enjoy a safe night out in the capital, whilst balancing the needs of residents and other night time workers. Over the coming months, we will work together towards a truly 24-hour city with a vibrant, safe nightlife.”
Val Shawcross, Deputy Mayor for Transport: “I’m delighted that the Mayor has announced Amy as Night Czar. With the advent of the Night Tube, the capital needs an ambassador for its iconic nightlife now more than ever. I’m looking forward to working with them to open up the fantastic opportunities of 24-hour travel in the city.”
Jeff Horton, Manager of 100 Club & Member of Mayor of London’s Music Venues Taskforce: “The appointment of the Night Czar is great news for the night time industry, and good to know that the Mayor is taking this sector and the issues it faces seriously.”
Jonathan Downey, Owner of Milk & Honey and Co-Founder of London Union/Street Feast: “The appointment of a Night Czar is fantastic news for London and for the whole of the night time economy. London is a great world city - creative, progressive, exciting and unique - and the night time is one of our key cultural assets. We must promote, protect and celebrate the night so that film, theatre, live music, clubs, bars, restaurants and night markets can survive and thrive.”
Notes to editors
*According to ‘London’s 24 Hour Economy’, a report by London First in association with EY: http://londonfirst.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Londons-24-hour-economy.pdf
**The original terms of reference of the Night Time Commission can be viewed here: https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/arts-and-culture/vision-and-strategy/london-night-time-commission