Big Business Backs Tower Hamlets’ City Status Bid

Some of the UK’s pre-eminent businesses have today pledged support for Tower Hamlets’ bid to become the UK’s next city.

Canary Wharf-based Barclays, J.P. Morgan, HSBC, Thomson Reuters, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Clifford Chance, Credit Suisse and Canary Wharf Group declared their backing for the Tower Hamlets bid, which is competing against 24 other towns and boroughs to be named a city as part of Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012.

The news that giants of the business world are behind the Tower Hamlets’ bid comes shortly after the City of London Corporation declared its backing, with Alderman Michael Bear, Lord Mayor of London, saying: “The City of London Corporation is delighted to support your excellent bid… We share a long and proud history in contributing to the economic success, social development and fortitude in adversity of London.”

Howard Dawber from Canary Wharf Group plc said: “These companies employ hundreds of thousands of people in the UK and around the world. Tower Hamlets is the economic powerhouse for London and the UK. The area will have a hugely important role to play in driving economic growth and providing jobs in the next few years.”

“Representatives of these companies will be working alongside the Borough on the campaign for city status. They will help us to communicate the tremendous positive changes that have occurred in the East End in recent years.”

Lutfur Rahman, Mayor of Tower Hamlets said “Canary Wharf is one of the most iconic places not just in Tower Hamlets, but in the world today. It’s an example of how the borough is the engine behind the UK’s economy and we work hard to make sure local people can take full advantage of the leisure and employment opportunities it offers.

“Today it is home to some of the biggest companies on the planet, and to have the support of such high profile organisations shows just how seriously people are taking our bid. We’re ready to be a city, and I am delighted that these organisations agree.”

Bill Mills, EMEA CEO at Citigroup, said “As a long-time resident and large employer in Tower Hamlets, Citi is proud to support the borough’s bid for city status. Tower Hamlets is a thriving community that deserves to be recognised for its contribution to the UK’s economy and its cultural heritage.”

Tower Hamlets, which includes the famous Canary Wharf shopping and business district, provides over 204,000 jobs, or 5% of total London employment. Just under half of these jobs are in Canary Wharf, with the working population projected to double by 2025.

A study published earlier this year by Halifax Bank of Scotland found that Tower Hamlets, together with adjoining Southwark and Hackney, has been the UK’s fastest growing economic area over the past decade.

One in four Canary Wharf workers lives in a local East London Borough, with close to 10,000 living in the immediate surroundings of Tower Hamlets. The numbers of local residents employed at Canary Wharf are rising every year, thanks to employment and skills schemes run by Tower Hamlets Council, Canary Wharf Group and a number of Canary Wharf based businesses.