In spite of the UK?s emergence from recession lagging behind the rest of Europe Ray Allen Jersey , London is still an international business powerhouse. According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), the financial services centre drives more than ?200bn of revenue into the UK economy each year.
Although central London is booming with business activity, parts of the city are still struggling. Contrary to popular belief London?s streets aren?t paved with gold. The truth is ? they sparkle with opportunity. The challenge for someone walking down hope street is understanding how to make the most of their potential in the current climate.
Chant?l du Plooy takes a look at the capital?s prospects for jobs, housing and economic growth.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has been given the task to produce a planning strategy for the capital. The second draft of the strategy, called the London Plan, is currently open to public consultation.
In the foreword of the London Plan, the Mayor makes his aim for the city?s future perfectly clear: ?I want London to be the best big city on earth.
?That means a place that brims with opportunity and talent and economic activity of all kinds, but also one where the pace of life can suddenly slow from one street to the next; where children can grow up in safety ? where people can be seen walking or cycling with no purpose other than enjoyment.?
London?s future encompasses five elements: becoming the world?s capital of business, improving competitiveness, developing into a low carbon economy, extending Londoners? opportunity and investing in the capital?s potential.
Through these five strategies, previously disadvantaged areas will become key focus points.
In East London alone, 333,800 homes will be built by 2031. In North East London, Harrow and Wealdstone will receive significant support in areas such as retail, industrial and housing developments.
Although the increase in housing will impact jobs in London there is a need for drastic job creation. The Mayor plans to tackle unemployment in the capital through combating skill shortages. He will address low skills through encouraging effective education, training and support for all.
The latest ONS figures unveiled that the UK GDP shrank by 0.4 in the third quarter. Even though we didn?t need any confirmation, we now know that we are in the longest recession since 1955.
But there is also good news for London. It was recently crowned the best city in Europe to locate a business. The European Cities Monitor report from Cushman & Wakefield has awarded London with this honour for the 20th consecutive year.
UK Minister for Trade, Investment and Small Business, Lord Davies of Abersoch commented: ?Since the collapse of Lehman Brothers just over a year ago, London has been through a pretty turbulent time. This year?s survey, however, is evidence that it has not lost its position as Europe?s and probably the world?s leading business and financial centre.
?Major corporates clearly still recognise that its critical mass of talent, facilities and infrastructure combine to deliver a compelling location for business.?
London is home to more than 30 of the world?s largest companies. The investment of over 500 foreign corporations like Coca Cola, Canon and Virgin has created more than 11,000 London jobs between April 2008 and March 2009.
Regardless of the downturn in the current economy, business leaders in London remain positive. A recent report from London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) revealed that more than half (52 ) of 185 London firms are confident about the city?s future.