The Partnership BID has released the initial findings of its audit into the needs of landowners, policy makers and others in considering how the district should develop and grow over time.
The BID’s vision for the Knightsbridge International Centre is of a district that combines ‘high-end luxury with appropriate amenities for local residents and employees to complement the vision outlined in the London, local and neighbourhood plans.’
Knightsbridge is one of only two districts formally designated as an International Centre in the Mayor’s London Plan and the International Centres sit at the top of the Mayor’s five categories of town centres.
The London Plan defines international centres as “London’s globally renowned retail destinations with a wide range of high-order comparison and specialist shopping with excellent levels of public transport accessibility.”
The Plan adds that the typical range of uses of the International Centres are:
- High-order comparison and specialist retail
- Flagship stores
- Office Headquarters
- Government buildings
- International Leisure, culture and entertainment destinations
- International tourism functions
Recent material produced by Knightsbridge Estates for their new Brompton Road development lists the following facts about the district, detailing:
- 190,00 residents, with 44% classed as affluent
- 17 quality restaurants
- Eight five-star hotels
- 19 million people use Knightsbridge Station every year
- 15 million retail visitors annually
As part of its audit the BID has been seeking to identify in further detail the district’s target audiences and provide the necessary facilities, amenities and services to attract and encourage them to stay longer and return more often.
According to the latest available data, international visitors generate £28.4 billion for the economy, and shopping is a crucial part of this success. High-value visitors spend disproportionately more, but have a choice of competing international centres worldwide.
The headline recommendations of the BID’s audit fall into eight recommendations for future development. These conclude that the BID should:
- Commission a report on the economic performance and contribution of the International Centre, bringing together existing evidence to support the promotion of the Knightsbridge district to decision makers and potential investors
- Commission a study, along with the New West End Company, into opportunities and activities for attracting high-value domestic visitors
- Establish a structure to ensure regular engagement with local communities to enable both to work together for the good of Knightsbridge businesses and residents
- Establish a system to enable it to understand, monitor and analyse competing international centres throughout the World
- Explore and establish district-wide public realm, service standards and property maintenance that are appropriate for an International Centre
- Devise and undertake a programme to demonstrate to decision-makers the unique requirements of International Centres to encourage them to support and adopt standards that are necessary to remain attractive to high value international visitors
- Explore strategic partnership opportunities to attract visitors from high value countries
- Help to establish an “International Centre” group that meets regularly to promote shared interests.
Watch this space for further information.