Property developers building on land owned by City Hall or its agencies will be required to provide low-cost units for start up businesses under plans unveiled today by Tory mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith.
The commercial units would be in addition to any housing obligations imposed on developers.
Mr Goldsmith has also promised to build on London Underground’s existing work to offer space for pop-up shops by using stations to provide “temporary, discounted shop space to retail entrepreneurs.”
Two years ago transport bosses partnered with AppearHere.co.uk to hire out units in a selection of stations to non-traditional retailers in a bid to offer commuters a changing and diverse mix of shops.
Goldsmith’s campaign says today’s pledge would expend the scheme to cover all suitable stations owned by Transport for London and say his policies would support “at least” 1,000 firms over the course of his term as Mayor.
The mayoral hopeful has also promised to work with London’s businesses to cluster start ups around existing and emerging hubs, for example a MedCity hub around Euston or a Creative Industries hub around Kings Cross.
Goldsmith said: “London is a city of opportunity and start-ups represent an important driver of growth for the economy and jobs for Londoners, tapping into the innovative spirit of our capital city.
“If I am elected, I will champion the creation of start-up incubators using Mayoral land and TfL stations to ease the pressures placed on new businesses by spiralling office rents.”
Earlier this week a poll of businesses carried out for the London Chamber of Commerce & Industry suggested Goldsmith “is overwhelmingly seen by London firms as being more pro-business than his Labour rival Sadiq Khan”.
According to the poll two-thirds of businesses believe Goldsmith is pro-business, while just 29 per cent say the same of Mr Khan.
Today Goldsmith commented: “There is a clear choice at this election between a candidate who will back business and those who live and work in London; or Corbyn’s candidate Sadiq Khan, in the pocket of the unions, who will look to score party political points – bringing four years of gridlock and inaction to City Hall”.