The City is built on business. It has been a global trading centre since Roman times and has centuries of experience in commerce to draw upon.
- Our annually elected head, the Lord Mayor, leads business delegations as part of an international visits programme that strengthens the City’s links with overseas countries, encourages growing economies to raise capital in London and opens up new markets for City businesses.
- The Policy and Resources Committee, led by its Chairman, plays a major role in setting the direction for the City Corporation and takes key decisions on its work, particularly our support and promotion of the business City.
- Our representation in China and India promotes the interests of UK-based financial services firms, and in Brussels helps shape legislation that affects UK business. We also ensure that the City’s message is put across to key decision makers in Westminster and Whitehall and are strongly committed to engagement with the United States of America, particularly on the policy agenda.
- We try to make sure the City has everything it needs to keep its lead in business and finance.
- Our City Property Advisory Team is a central contact for property assistance and information, helping companies find and retain accommodation right for them in the Square Mile and its fringes.
- As a planning authority we help shape the City and its unique environment. We look for cutting edge design in new buildings while protecting our historic and contemporary much loved architecture – from the Gherkin and the Lloyd’s building to Temple Bar and St Paul’s.
We look to achieve the highest standards and keep at the forefront of service development.
- The City of London Police has earned a reputation for its expertise in cracking business-related crime and for the low crime rate enjoyed by the Square Mile. It is the national lead force for economic crime and together with the Metropolitan Police it also works to reduce the threat of terrorism.
- The Central Criminal Court at Old Bailey, run by the City Corporation, is the venue for the country’s highest profile criminal cases and is probably the most famous criminal court in the world.
- Our 24–hour street cleaning service has led to our being crowned Britain’s Cleanest City several times and forms part of our waste management programme for both commercial premises and residents. Our Clean City Awards scheme rewards others in waste management and promotes recycling.
- Our online services range from ordering prints from our 20,000 strong COLLAGE database to checking our street works schedule to keep track of essential maintenance. There are also maps providing a variety of service information in a more interactive format.
- We sponsor three City Academies that specialise in business related subjects and we run and maintain three independent schools – the City of London School, the City of London School for Girls and City of London Freemen’s School – that regularly feature amongst the list of top performing schools in the UK.
- Education with a specific focus is provided by our Guildhall School of Music & Drama – the training ground for many household names in the performing arts.
- We are London's Port Health Authority, patrolling 94 miles of Britain’s busiest waterways along the tidal Thames, and we check food and hygiene standards within the Square Mile.
- Our reach stretches as far as Heathrow with our Animal Reception Centre. This ensures that animals entering the country are healthy and has established itself as a world leader in the care of animals during transport.
- Our five libraries include the specialist City Business Library and the London-focused Guildhall Library. The archives in our care, including many City and London-wide records, constitute one of the world’s premier archive repositories and our collections as a whole are officially designated as being of national and international importance.
- Outside the City we manage Keats House in Hampstead – the principal memorial to this famous poet who was born and raised in the City.
- In partnership with Fusion Lifestyle, we deliver sports opportunities at all levels for those who live or work in the City.
- We look after more than 2,700 properties across six London boroughs. We also have two housing estates, Golden Lane and Middlesex Street, within the Square Mile and manage the private residential Barbican Estate.
- We own and operate Billingsgate, Smithfield and New Spitalfields wholesale markets. They combine an impressive heritage with the most rigorous modern standards in offering the highest quality fish, meat, fruit, vegetables and flowers respectively.
A positive work-life balance is vital so it is no surprise that the City is about far more than just business. Indeed, the City Corporation is one of the most significant arts sponsors in the UK – only the government, the BBC and the Lottery give more.
- At the forefront is the world-renowned Barbican Centre, Europe’s leading multi-arts centre, bringing art, film, music, theatre, dance and education under one roof.
- The Guildhall School is our internationally renowned conservatoire offering musicians, actors, stage managers and theatre technicians an inspiring environment in which to develop as artists and professionals. We also sponsor the London Symphony Orchestra
- We part fund the Museum of London and Museum of London Docklands which give a dynamic insight into the capital’s history and heritage.
- Our Guildhall Art Gallery displays more than 250 portraits, paintings and sculptures and below are the restored remains of Roman London’s Amphitheatre.
- City Corporation sponsorship helps arts provision such as the City of London Festival flourish each year as well as the free public lectures at Gresham College.
- Offering breathtaking views, for those with breath left after the steep climb, is the Monument which we own and maintain. Created following the Great Fire it still symbolises rebirth for the City.
- As part of a major retail initiative, Cheapside has undergone a large scale redevelopment. Alongside the high street stores already in place, One New Change, opposite St Paul’s Cathedral, offers new shopping facilities to complement the high-end retail experience of the Royal Exchange and the historic surroundings of Leadenhall Market.
- The City’s increasing status as a visitor destination means that its award winning City Information Centre by St Paul’s Cathedral is a regular port of call to discover all the Square Mile has to offer.
- Discover the City from the standpoints of history, architecture and commercial innovation with the City Walks - 'Finance at your feet' (2.1mb). On these walks you can get a real feel for the inner workings of global businesses and meet some of the people who, over the centuries, have been its driving force.
Life outside of work and quality of life go hand-in-hand. The nature of a fast moving, high pressure environment like the City makes the numerous open spaces an essential part of its fabric.
- Quiet, green spaces to enjoy lunch, relax, recharge the batteries or meet friends can provide a welcome break in an otherwise hectic day. More than 150 gardens, churchyards, parks and plazas are dotted throughout the City – many in secluded areas.
- There has been an increase in the number of gardens and landscaped areas in the City during the past 30 years and new building developments in the Square Mile must make a positive contribution to their environment.
- The City Corporation also owns and maintains almost 11,000 acres (4,047 hectares) of open space across London including Hampstead Heath, Epping Forest and Burnham Beeches.
- We have owned and managed some of these areas as far back as 1870 to protect them from development and preserve them as a natural resource. This began with an Act of Parliament granting the City of London the right to acquire and protect both Epping Forest and land within 25 miles of the City for the recreation and enjoyment of the public.
- Our open spaces have since become landmarks of London and have their own particular species – whether it is the rich community of breeding birds on Ashtead Common or the grazing animals on Coulsdon and West Wickham Commons. Many of our open spaces have gained the coveted Green Flag Award, are Sites of Special Scientific Interest or have other international designations.
- Quality of life issues are also reflected in the City Corporation’s sustainability programmes. The City Corporation has a history of considering the welfare of future generations. Our duty is to act responsibly with regard to the environment, in our policies and in all our actions.
- From recycling to roof gardens and energy efficiency to Fairtrade, the City Corporation’s sustainability policy outlines the principles which we, our staff and contractors are expected to follow in all our activities, plans and projects.
- We also encourage others to do likewise. We have been awarded Beacon Status for our efforts in tackling climate change and for involving the wider business community. One example is our Sustainable City Awards – recognised as the UK’s foremost ‘green’ awards scheme and which attracts in excess of 150 applications per year.