Report proposes opening London’s museums, galleries at night to boost economy

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A call for galleries and museums to open at night to help boost the economy of the British capital was put forward Wednesday in a report by the London Assembly.

A report outlining London’s vibrant night-time economy reveals the number of night time workers in London has increased, with 109,140 new night-time jobs created between 2004 and 2016.

The assembly economy committee report, “Rewrite the night: the future of London’s night time”, said billions of dollars could be added to the night time economy as London’s 24-hour economy matures.

The report said night-time workers shouldn’t be treated as second class workers, given the contribution they make to the economy of London.

“Night-time workers deserve to be paid the London Living Wage. In some sectors, night workers have seen their pay eroded over the years with the removal of premiums for working anti-social hours,” the report said.

Bars and pubs, clubs, cinemas and theaters, and cafes and restaurants operate throughout the night to provide entertainment and jobs in London.

Eleven thousand pubs, bars, restaurants and nightclubs in London employ over 200,000 people, and contribute almost 7 billion U.S. dollars to London’s economy each year.

London’s 240 professional theaters collectively seat more than 110,000 people every night and employ 19,000 performing, non-performing and support staff.

Analysis for the assembly anticipates that an extra 2.8 billion U.S. dollars a year could be added to the night time economy.

The report has called on London Mayor Sadiq to research what proportion of night workers receive the London Living Wage.

It also calls on Khan to support museums and galleries, particularly in outer London, to extend their opening hours.

Assembly member Caroline Russell, who chairs the Economy Committee, said: “Culture needs to be at the heart of diversifying London’s night time economy. It’s not just about bars, clubs and drinking. London’s night time economy should be a thriving and accessible space for Londoners, which involves families.

“It is absolutely crucial that the welfare of night time workers is high on the agenda. These workers need to feel safe, be fairly paid and be able to safely travel to and from their places of work.

“To develop a 24-hour city, the mayor needs to build on his vision for a more diverse night time economy.”

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