The Summer Street Festival, a campaign launched in June by commercial landlords Soho Estates and Shaftesbury to temporarily pedestrianise the Soho area, has been celebrated as a “huge victory” in allowing hospitality businesses to operate alfresco.

According to Soho Estates, 90% of hospitality operators have now reopened within the pedestrianised zone, with more than 80 restaurant businesses taking part in the initiative.

A total of 17 streets across the district have been temporarily pedestrianised, and further closures, including the pedestrianisation of Old Compton Street, are planned imminently.

“I am delighted and overwhelmed to see the success of the alfresco dining in Soho, it is a lifeline for the survival of our area,” said Soho Estates MD John James.

“It is an example of what can be achieved when people come together with a common aim. And ultimately it has saved jobs, businesses and kick started the economy of London’s most important food and drink hub.”

“We’ve managed to give businesses a lifeline and have saved, by our estimate, over 2000 jobs,” added chef restaurateur Victor Garvey, who has been central to the campaign from the beginning.

“While there are still things to work out, we see this initiative as a huge victory and hope other similarly F&B concentrated areas around London, and indeed the whole country, can emulate our success.”

The news comes as London mayor Sadiq Khan has issued a call to Government to offer additional support to hospitality operators in the city’s West End.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, Khan set out eight proposals to tackle the “perfect storm” facing the district, which could see a third of its hospitality and retail workforce lose their jobs.

“For decades central London has been the economic engine of the UK, a cultural powerhouse, and a gateway for global tourism to the UK,” he said. “But it now faces a real existential threat from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“As Mayor I’m doing all within my powers to help, but in the face of a perfect economic storm, our businesses need urgent and sustained support from Government to ensure they can survive this pandemic.”