The West End of London has seen a “rapid rebound” in 2022, according to Shaftesbury.

The landlord reported a sustained recovery in confidence and activity driving growing footfall and spending ahead of 2019 levels.

Occupiers report average monthly sales are now 6% ahead of pre-pandemic levels, with hospitality and leisure: +6% and retail +6%.

A strong demand for space across all uses has led to a return to pre-Covid occupancy levels and growth in rental values.

During the year there were 59 new hospitality and retail lettings, with rent collection of 99%, back to pre-pandemic levels.

Cash generated from operating activities was up 61.4% to £61.8m following the cessation of Covid-rent support and improvements in rent collections and occupancy.

Shaftesbury said prospects for London and the West End remain bright, despite the current range of macroeconomic challenges.

The proposed merger with Capco is under consideration with the CMA, and is expected to become effective during the first quarter of 2023.

Brian Bickell, chief executive, commented: “The year has seen a rapid rebound in the West End economy as Covid-related disruption receded and patterns of everyday activity returned to pre-pandemic normality. The sustained recovery in footfall and trading since the early months of 2022 has been matched by the strength of occupier demand in our carefully curated and popular locations.

“Although London and the West End cannot be immune from the unprecedented range of challenges which are now dominating the national outlook, their long-term prospects remain bright, thanks to their enduring appeal to global, domestic and local visitors, businesses and investors, their dynamic economies and ability to attract talent and creativity from across the world. These features are mirrored in the locations in which we invest and, together with our proven, innovative management strategy and our experienced and enthusiastic team, reinforce our confidence in the long-term potential of our exceptional portfolio.”