For me Leicester Square is the centre of London, the heart of the West End where everything is within easy reach. It is a destination that encompasses the best of London and has been an exceptional catalyst for change in the surrounding areas of Soho, St. James’s and Chinatown.
The most important element of Leicester Square is balance; it caters for everyone and from City of Westminster’s point of view it is public realm that we have nurtured and cared for. Over the three decades that I have been a Westminster Councillor, the Square has been transformed, it used to have traffic and now it has an exceptional array of entertainment, mixed with an oasis of green spaces to be enjoyed.
The diversity of the Square is impressive. It is the home to UK cinema, with A-List stars seen walking down the red carpet on a weekly basis, but equally well, the surrounding neighbourhood enjoys quiet lunches at the many alfresco restaurants every day.
“Looking forward, I see Leicester Square as a place of the future. Consumer entertainment habits are changing rapidly and I would expect Leicester Square to lead that evolution”
Looking forward, I see Leicester Square as a place of the future. Consumer entertainment habits are changing rapidly and I would expect Leicester Square to lead that evolution. The finest new hotels, advanced new cinemas and the best office space and retail are all coming to the destination over the coming years. This will be supported by an exceptional events programme that was started when we created West End Live and hosted it at Leicester Square and this will continue with staging and infrastructure that will allow creativity to be rewarded.
Overall, I’m happiest in Leicester Square at dusk, sunshine bouncing off the railings, lights highlighting the water of the fountains and William Shakespeare’s statue watching over it all. It’s a magical place and a great asset to London.