West London Business
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The boroughs have a combined population of 1.4 million+ people.
Established in 1994 WLB seeks to represent the interests of 100,000+ businesses, from small to multinational, located in west London, which contribute an estimated (in 2016) £50 billion (GVA) to the UK economy.
The organisation's mission is to ensure West London stays the best place to do business.
WLB has around 200 members, including major corporates and multinationals such as PwC, the Fuller's Brewery, Heathrow Airport, HSBC and SEGRO, through to SMEs, we well as Further Education and Higher Education institutions. The organisation claims this results in a unique forum for promotion and networking in west London.
In joining WLB members commit to work together to raise West London’s global economic competitiveness, whilst pursuing social and environmental sustainability.
West London Business is active in:
- providing members with knowledge of London-wide and local political and economic developments.
- lobbying to influence public policy decisions that affect the business environment in the area.
- promoting economic development, entrepreneurial activity and innovation, as well as supporting the many growth sectors in West London, such as pharmaceuticals, food, information technology, logistics, creative industries and tourism.
More recently under their new CEO Andrew Dakers they have gone through significant change and have developed a more comprehensive level of services and partnerships including:
- Park Royal Business Group – WLB facilitates this key local business group, providing its secretariat and legal structure. This has taken over from the Park Royal Partnership which wound up in 2014.
- Spark! Kick starting careers – WLB actively supports this education-business charity which is hosted by GSK in Brentford
- Golden Mile Transport Group – WLB helped initiate the predecessor Golden Mile Group and remains an active supporter of the Golden Mile Transport Group
- Cross Party Group for West London – WLB works in partnership with Fuller, Smith & Turner Plc to provide the secretariat for the group
- West London Export Club – WLB works in partnership with Hounslow Chamber of Commerce to provide the secretariat for the club
It works with the West London Alliance (the public body group incorporating the councils which cover the North West London area) which includes Hounslow, Ealing, Brent, Harrow, Hillingdon, Barnet and Hammersmith & Fulham)
As a transport initiative, throughout the 2000s it has promoted the West London Orbital underground railway scheme. The lack of north-south rail connections and capacity is being revisited in large part due to population growth. WLB and partners are working on the possibility of converting some old freight lines into passenger services. This would include linking Brentford to Barnet via the Dudding Hill line.
The organisation emerged from the merger of West London Inward and West London Chamber of Commerce in the early 2000s. Much of the energy from Business in the Community's West London Leadership team also folded into WLB in the early 2000s. The organisation's culture and mission in 2016/7 draws in the traditions of these three predecessor groups.
Recent Chief Executives:
- Kate Ashton (2003-5)
- Frank Wingate (2005-15)
- Andrew Dakers (2015-)
West London Business has in the past offered:
- free support for business start-up and micro companies through the 'Business London West Consortium'
- a broad portfolio of commercial consultancy services, using specialist partner consultants where appropriate
- promoting inward investment and business growth services with funding support from the London Development Agency