City of London Corporation’s Catherine McGuinness urges Square Mile workers to return to the office

The City of London Corporation wants to lure workers and visitors back to the Square Mile as England slowly eases Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

“We need to encourage the return of workers and visitors, while also providing reassurance about the steps taken to protect public health throughout the City’s reopening,” said Catherine McGuinness, policy chair at the governing body, at the Court of Common Council.

“And we will always promote the Square Mile as a vibrant and thriving City with a world-class business eco-system and outstanding environments.”

The City, and London more generally, has been mostly empty during the third nationwide lockdown as the government rolled out its vaccination campaign and told people to work from home as much as possible.

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On 15 April, McGuinness laid out five strands of work the City of London Corporation is undertaking to re-energise the area, including a Covid business recovery fund providing grants to small and medium-sized enterprises in the City and a business accreditation scheme certifying that premises are “Covid-secure”.

The second phase of the government’s four-stage lockdown lifting has seen life injected back into city centres: non-essential retail and hospitality re-opened on 12 April to much anticipation. However, workers are still being asked to continue working remotely as the government carries out a review into social distancing, which will determine how many City firms bring back their employees.

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But there is hope for the Square Mile. On 15 April, recruitment firm Morgan McKinley found that there had been a 70% quarter-on-quarter increase in jobs available in the financial services sector in the first quarter of 2021.

To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email Bérengère Sim

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