South Bank New Year Message
13 Jan 2016
Over and above the media coverage of the spectacularly brilliant South Bank fireworks, two news stories caught my attention amid the annual blitz of New Year messages, back to work emails, and the general reconnection with the external world after the festive break. The first is that London’s population is now at an all-time high, exceeding 8.6 million people - a figure last reached in 1939, on the eve of war. The second is that Waterloo station is now close to hitting 100 million annual passengers (tube and train combined) which makes it the busiest transport interchange in the UK.
The dynamics that have resulted in these extraordinary statistics underpin London’s success as a global power and a world city of immense influence and status. This transformation has been both profound and significant for many neighbourhoods and places across the capital - none more so, perhaps, than here on London’s South Bank. In 1991 - when London’s population was at a low of 6.6 million and many areas were suffering from a combination of poor environments, little investment and a raft of social issues, most notably homelessness and unemployment - a group of South Bank businesses came together to form South Bank Employers’ Group, and to start the process of renewal and the reinvention of this special place.
2016 is the 25th anniversary of SBEG’s creation and formation. Whilst noting and celebrating many of our achievements since then, we will continue to look forward and ahead, to ensure that the South Bank maintains its reputation as a dynamic, vibrant and safe area, and is able to manage many of the pressures it now faces from rising numbers of visitors, new developments that are underway or planned, and other aspects that come with a successful visitor and business economy - particularly the need to invest in a high quality public realm, and in all forms of infrastructure. This is a clear message for the new Mayor and the GLA, and is one that SBEG and its members will impress on the main candidates in the run up to May’s election.
Members remain at the core of everything that we do. With the establishment of the South Bank Business Improvement District (BID), many more businesses and employers are now engaged in initiatives and projects that benefit the neighbourhood, including our enhanced security patrol which now has two Metropolitan Police Officers dedicated to South Bank. I know that this is a service that all South Bank businesses value, especially after the tragic events in Paris late last year, and we’ll continue to put effort and resource into all aspects of security, including organising appropriate training for members.
Additionally, the BID has greatly strengthened the resources and capability of our marketing offer. With input from the South Bank Marketing Group and BID members, we are looking to invest more in audience insight and how best to harness technology - the idea of the South Bank as a free Wi-Fi zone has appeal to many members and we’ll be testing its feasibility. This will build on the success of our web and social media campaigns - analysis of recent performance confirms our position as one of London’s leading destination marketing groups.
Increasingly, members of SBEG and the BID are working together through various groups, networks and forums and we’ll be supporting these throughout the year with a new member of staff and a renewed focus on the Employability Group and SBEG’s Associate Member and Property Groups. We warmly welcome Ogilvy and Mather Group to the neighbourhood - they start their move to Sea Containers House this month, and we are delighted that they have become a member of SBEG. Their move underlines the creative dynamism of the South Bank and its unique qualities as a place.
No doubt the year will bring some challenges, as many partners adjust to funding cuts and reappraise their priorities. However, our ambitions for the South Bank remain clear: investing in and maintaining a first class public realm; marketing and promoting the neighbourhood as London’s leading destination for visitors; ensuring that the neighbourhood is safe and welcoming for all; and delivering opportunities for local residents to access the many benefits of the areas success, including jobs. SBEG and the BID will be leading and undertaking a number of new initiatives this year, and the team is looking forward to working with you on these in the coming months.
With all best wishes for 2016.
Nic and the SBEG team
What to see in London: South Bank, The Heart of Winter!
23 Nov 2015
South Bank BID and South Bank Marketing Group have released their first Winter video, aimed at promoting South Bank to domestic and international visitors ahead of the Christmas festivities.
Released in conjunction with the BID and South Bank London, the #HeartofWinter campaign promotes some of the key things to do in South Bank that are available to BID members and the general public in over the coming winter months.
What to see in London: South Bank, The Heart of Winter is a celebration of the continued success of organisations within London’s South Bank and demonstrates the multifaceted appeal of the South Bank, both as a tourist destination and as a place to live and work.
Forget about Widow Twanky, South Bank arts centres are pulling out all the stops when it comes to original and magical shows, from The Old Vic’s The Lorax to BFI Southbank’s LOVE season. Whilst it’s the season to indulge, in the true spirit of giving, South Bank have a huge array of free events – from exhibitions to films.
There are plenty of places to release your inner child – whether it’s the Christmas experience at Shrek’s Adventure or on board a London Duck Tour. And once you’ve exhausted yourself, you’ll be pretty hungry – gastronomes won’t be disappointed as every taste and budget is catered for.
This is your one-stop-shop for all your winter events, guides and offers. Glad tidings one and all.
For more information about all the events taking place in London’s South Bank this winter, please visit: http://southbanklondon.com/winter
Welcome from our new CEO
7 Oct 2015
Hello South Bank ! I’m the new Chief Executive of South Bank Employers’ Group and South Bank Business Improvement District . Although I’ve only been in post for a few weeks, the South Bank has been an important part of my life for nearly thirty years. I first came here in the mid 1980s when I moved to London, and I subsequently worked in and around the area for several years. And my wife’s family lived near Waterloo station for a while.
My professional career has spanned the worlds of urban regeneration and conservation, but places and communities have always been my focus and interest. I have worked for English Heritage, Woodland Trust, Heritage Lottery Fund and I join the South Bank team from the National Trust, where I had responsibility for all of the Trust’s properties in London, including member and visitor enjoyment, commercial performance, the delivery of major projects, and partnership working. Much of this addressed urban regeneration issues, as the National Trust has properties in Hounslow, Rainham, Hackney and Morden, but my broader experience in regeneration started in this part of London when I ran Groundwork’s services in Lambeth and Southwark. Groundwork is a successful regeneration charity which works with local authorities, communities, businesses and other organisations to deliver positive changes to places and to people’s lives. As well as working in South London, I’ve also run Groundwork’s services in North and East London, including leading on a major community and business project for the 2012 Olympic Games.
So, I know London and its many diverse neighbourhoods very well – the people and places that shape this incredible city continue to excite and motivate me. I’m a keen cyclist, so expect to see me around the area on a Brompton bike. I look forward to seeing you very soon.