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Lord Mayor: promoting the very best of London

In his first article for London Accountant, new Lord Mayor of London William Russell maps out his year ahead, which will focus on trade, innovation and culture and why London is such an attractive place to live, work and visit.

January 2020

As the 692nd Lord Mayor of the City of London, I am extremely honoured to represent the greatest city in the world.

A key focus of my mayoralty will be the theme of Global UK: Trade, Innovation and Culture. I will seek to highlight the connectivity between these three pillars when it comes to ensuring a thriving local, national and international economy.

Trade and commerce are at the very heart of what the City does. I will promote the UK’s world-leading financial and professional services both domestically and during visits to around 25 key international markets, looking to maximise overseas opportunities for British firms overseas and attract inward investment.

Secondly, I will work with firms to help promote the very best that the UK has to offer in innovation, including areas such as fintech and green finance.

Finally, I will champion a rich and vibrant cultural economy. No other city on the planet has the history and the heritage, the cultural riches and the creativity that we have.

The Square Mile is, of course, already home to a number of world-class institutions such as the Barbican, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London Symphony Orchestra and Museum of London. They are assets that make us such an attractive place to live, work and visit – which is why the City Corporation is the UK’s fourth largest funder of cultural activities, contributing over £100m every year.

Our ambitious Culture Mile project is seeking to build on this strong foundation by creating a world-leading cultural destination in the north-west corner of the City. The creative industries are significant employers across the Square Mile and I will promote the role they play.

My time in office will of course coincide with the continuation of the Brexit saga. I hope that the new government provides a clear and positive path forwards for the UK and EU’s future trading relationship, for the benefit of businesses and consumers on both sides of the Channel.

The world is not stopping for Brexit, however, so we must continue to promote a confident long-term vision of London and the UK.

Our trading expertise, our ability to innovate and our unique creative and cultural credentials mean we are well-placed to seize new opportunities as the global economy evolves. Together, we can ensure that the City continues to flourish as part of a vibrant London and a global UK.

William Russell is Lord Mayor of the City of London

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