Hospitality Business Recovery — Westminster, London

Westminster City Council


5th Studio is working with Westminster City Council to develop plans that will transform the city in order to help bars, clubs and restaurants to reopen safely as lockdown rules relax. This is ongoing work and for the latest definitive guidance, businesses, residents and stakeholders should refer to the latest information from Westminster City Council.

Westminster is the social heart of London, and businesses in the borough produce 3% of Britain’s GDP. These temporary measures are aimed at allowing businesses to re-open from 4th July.

5th Studio’s work on public realm improvements have focussed initially on Soho, but will also cover Covent Garden, Marylebone and Mayfair. The work is developing options for al fresco dining, extending pavement space and in some cases allowing timed closure of roads to allow dining in the space of the street.

More generally, cities around the world are beginning to transform to address the challenges of the climate emergency, and this process of change has been accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic, bringing urgent realisation to urban initiatives from the Parisian proximate “ville du quart d’heure”, to Amsterdam’s adoption of Kate Raworth’s balanced economic model to guide how the city will rebuild in a post-Covid world.

In London, the Mayor Sadiq Kahn has been developing an integrated set of policies called Good Growth by Design. As a Design Advocate for the Mayor, 5th Studio Director Tom Holbrook has been helping develop policy on a number of these strands, including the Public London Charter, and Designing for a Circular Economy. The Good Growth programme is the foundation of the city’s response to the pandemic.

The Challenge

Old Compton Street - June 2019

Old Compton Street - June 2020


Areas under consideration for hospitality interventions: 1. St John's Wood / 2. Paddington / 3. Marylebone / 4. Oxford Circus Area / 5. Fitzrovia / 6. Mayfair / 7. Soho / 8. St James's / 9. Chinatown - Leicester Square / 10. Covent Garden / 11. Victoria


Extension of outdoor seating areas / In focused areas extending the hours of timed closures to support dining within the carriageway areas

Temporary footway widening works - Type 1 / Outdoor dining against building frontages, with widened footways allowing social distancing between diners and pedestrians

Temporary footway widening works - Type 2 / Outdoor dining in new areas of widened footway, with the footway retained for pedestrians

Timed closures to vehicles / Supporting dining against building frontages - with pedestrians in the temporarily closed carriageway




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21 Wren Street
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We actively encourage qualified applicants who are Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic, disabled, female and LGBTQIA+ as these groups are under-represented throughout the built environment professions.