London restaurateurs say city centre still a ‘ghost town' and call for support

29 June 2020 by
London restaurateurs say city centre still a ‘ghost town' and call for support

London chefs and restaurateurs have said the city centre is still a "ghost town" and called for sector-specific support in a letter headed by St John restaurateurs Trevor Gulliver and Fergus Henderson.

The letter – signed by Jonathan Downey, Angela Hartnett, Henry Harris, Chris and Jeff Galvin, and Margot Henderson – pointed out that "many significant offices will not open again until the autumn, some not until the New Year, the City is a ghost town".

Meanwhile, "the issues over rent have not gone away and redundancies loom" as government support tapers ahead of the ceasing of the furlough scheme in October.

The open letter said the 4 July reopening date is "no silver bullet for London town" with theatres still closed, no long-distance tourism on the horizon, restrictions on cinemas and visitor attractions, and no sport, public gatherings, concerts or events.

It continued: "Some businesses hope for a good Christmas, already, however, that's something in the future and not guaranteed. We need specific support and action now… London is the biggest target, it mustn't be the biggest casualty."

Read the full letter here.

Photo: Shutterstock

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