Night Time Enterprise Zone

In January the London Night Time Commission published the Think Night report. It recommended that:

The Mayor should establish a Night-Time Enterprise Zone fund that boroughs can bid into, starting with a Pathfinder Zone in 2020.

The Commission believe that increased use of the high street after 6pm will make London more liveable, relieve pressure on London’s infrastructure and boost local businesses. In extending the active hours of the capital's high streets, there is also an opportunity to ensure that night work is good work.

Night Time Enterprise Zones (NTEZs) would be places where later opening hours and increased access to a greater range of shops and services, can be tested and evaluated in a managed way.

Why is the Mayor investing in an NTEZ pilot project?

To help revive the high street
High streets are job creators, transport hubs and places of social and cultural exchange. However, London had the UK’s highest net loss of high street shops in 2018. Recent research found that 92% of councils in England believe that increasing night time economic activity can help the high street to survive and thrive.

To give Londoners better access to their city after 6pm
Two-thirds of Londoners are regularly active at night, but many shops and services are closed when they want to use them. The changing lifestyles of Londoners means that there is more demand for the economy to work 24/7. There is also demand for a greater range of shops and services to be accessible after 6pm.

To support good work standards at Night
Recent GLA research found that one-third of London’s workforce usually works at night. Yet many night workers do not receive the same work conditions that day workers do. In fact, 53% of night time culture and leisure jobs pay less than the London Living Wage.

London's first Night Time Enterprise Zone

Night Czar, Amy Lamé, and Leader of Waltham Forest, Cllr Clare Coghill, on Walthamstow High Street
Night Czar, Amy Lamé, and Leader of Waltham Forest, Cllr Clare Coghill, on Walthamstow High Street.


On 10 September 2019, the Mayor announced that Walthamstow High Street was chosen to be London's first Night Time Enterprise Zone.

The London Borough of Waltham Forest used recent research with local residents and businesses to inform their bid. The pilot, which runs from October to January, will see Waltham Forest try out a range of proposals for the high street, including:

  • Offer premises to test out new evening enterprises in a low-cost and flexible environment 
  • Produce a step-by-step guide on how to easily navigate planning and licensing for businesses looking to offer evening or night-time activities 
  • Create a small fund for existing local businesses and community organisations to help them cover costs of facilities required to host evening activities 
  • Crowdsource a printed and online map and event listing
  • Run a ‘shop local late’ campaign to encourage residents to support their local independent businesses and encourage local retailers to extend their operational times 
  • Run a reclaim your high street event to test out an alternative use of the high street in the evening

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said:

Our high streets are at the very heart of our communities, but in recent years we have seen them struggling under significant pressures. By working together to encourage longer opening hours and host innovative events after 6pm, this pilot in Walthamstow will be a real opportunity to develop the ideas that can boost our high streets and help realise our vision for a 24-hour city.


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