Why Invest in Westminster?
Often described as the capital’s educational and finance hub, Westminster is one of the wealthiest boroughs around. It’s also the location of the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace, as well as being the only area of London with a World Heritage Site designation. The area is steeped in history, and yet you will still find pockets of residential redevelopment (particularly luxury apartments) here. It’s also around one third less expensive to buy property here than in other upmarket areas of the capital such as Mayfair and Knightsbridge.
Westminster and its economy
A diverse area with a healthy economy, Westminster boasts three very impressive universities – Westminster is home to three of the best universities in the world: Kings College London, Imperial College London and the London School of Economic and Political Science (LSE). Other educational institutes include the London Business School, Royal Academy of Music, the Courtauld Institute and the University of Westminster.
Westminster sits in London’s West End, which boasts more than 2,500 bars and restaurants (17 of which are Michelin-starred), impressive upmarket retail outlets in the likes of Oxford Street, 40 theatres, 30 museums or galleries and seven parks or green zones.
The area, which sits in Transport for London (TfL) Zone 1, also has three underground stations. A Thames Clipper boat provides easy access to Westminster Bridge and Canary Wharf via Westminster Pier.
The average household income in Westminster is £52,199, but the median house price is just over £1m. Renting in the area can set tenants back by up to £3000 a month. And a huge housing shortage in the area means renting is the only option for many.
Westminster and employment
In 2018, there were 46,490 businesses registered in Westminster. That figure translates to approximately 600,000 jobs which, in turn, brings in annual business rates of around £1.5bn for the local area. The vast majority of businesses here (around 85 per cent) actually have less than 10 employees.
Not surprisingly, due to the number of educational institutions within the area, as well as its location within the capital, there is plenty of employment in Westminster. Competition for jobs is, however, pretty fierce – to the extent it is the highest in the whole of the UK. This applies to both entry level and professional roles. In fact, by next year it is expected that half of the jobs advertised in Westminster will require a Level 4 or above qualification.
Meanwhile, Westminster Council has planned for a 15 per cent employment growth over the following two decades, with most jobs in the areas of Paddington and Victoria.
Recent Investment in Westminster
Westminster City Council’s master plan provides a framework for all development in the Church Street area over the next 15 to 20 years. This plan aims to create a thriving new residential and business district in Central London, with four key target areas:
Plans for the future
In its recently published City Plan (2019 to 2040), Westminster Council pledged to invest a total of £150m over three years in the Oxford Street District. This comprises more than 90 different projects in 85 individual locations and includes a brand-new public piazza on Oxford Street for pedestrians.
Plans are also afoot for a redevelopment of Church Street over the next two decades. This will take the form of a new residential and commercial district, including 1,750 new homes and a cultural quarter.