MD2028 Review of London & Partners

Type of decision: 
Mayoral decision
Code: 
MD2028
Date signed: 
13 September 2016
Decision by: 
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London

Executive summary

The Mayor has asked that a review of the GLA’s funding of London & Partners (L&P) be undertaken to ensure the best possible promotion for London 
L&P have now been in operation for over five years since April 2011. The creation of L&P reflected the previous Mayor’s expressed wish to bring together the previously separate promotional activities undertaken by Think London (inward investment), Visit London (tourism) and Study London (education). 

The Mayor will need to make decisions on L&P’s future funding. The current funding agreement runs until the end of the 2016/17 financial year. In addition, the referendum vote to leave the European Union on 23 June has greatly changed the context for promoting London as the best city in the world in which to invest, work, study and visit. It is vital that London’s promotional agency, supported by the Mayor, be fit for purpose in a post-Brexit London, and in the transitional period.  

It is therefore timely to conduct a review of how GLA funding can best contribute to the best possible promotion of London.  This includes, but is not limited to:  reviewing how L&P operates; the impact and efficiency of L&P’s programmes, business models and  current GLA  funding to date; the change of context and remit of L&P since 2011; overview of international promotion across the GLA family and other promotional bodies in London to maximise synergy and avoid duplication; comparative research on how other cities are undertaking international promotion activities and finally the evaluation methodology used to measure outcomes.
We recommend an internal review is set up by 1 September 2016, to report back by 21 October 2016. 
 

Decision

That the Mayor approves:

a)    An internal review into the impact and efficiency of GLA funding of L&P programmes, to ensure the best possible promotion of London supported by GLA staff resources.

b)    A contingency of £25,000, that the Executive Director of Development, Enterprise and Environment, may if necessary draw on to procure specialist consultancy support for the review. 
 

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

L&P was launched by the previous Mayor on 1 April 2011. It was established following advice from the Promote London Council that London required a single coherent voice to promote London internationally. It was also recognised that the Games in 2012 presented a once-in-a-lifetime show-casing opportunity which needed to be optimised.  Previous to this, the London Development Agency was grant funding four separate organisations to promote London to international audiences targeting potential tourists, investors, students and film-makers. In 2009/10 the LDA funding to these four organisations totalled £24m. Given public finance constraints it was acknowledged that a leaner and more efficient approach would be required. 

L&P is funded by a combination of sources including a grant from the Mayor of London, fees from their commercial partners, benefits in kind and income from their commercial activities. The context within which they operate has changed substantially since 2011. This has included the shift towards a 50:50 split (20:80 in 2011) of commercial income and public GLA funding; the impact of the Olympics, major events and inward investment; the funding/role of other agencies involved in international promotion, such as MedCity and Film London; as well as L&P expanding its activities into the export market through launching the Mayor’s International Business Programme. 

The current GLA Grant Agreement with L&P provides funding for the period up to 31 March 2017 (£10,979,000). L&P’s grant funding is included in the 2017/18 GLA budget for planning purposes at the same level as in previous years. 

It is therefore timely to now conduct a review of GLA’s funding of L&P as the Mayor needs to make a strategic decision on L&P’s future funding. 
 

Objectives and expected outcomes

The objectives and expected outcomes (as well as the specific areas that will be examined and steering group membership) of the review are covered in the Terms of Reference at Appendix A. 

The review will culminate in a report and recommendations to be presented to the Mayor by 21 October 2016. 

The review will be led and coordinated by the review steering group with support from the secretariat. This may be supplemented by external specialists input if required.
 

Equality comments

There is not expected to be any negative impact in terms of equality as part of the review; the 
review will be mindful of all the requirements set out in the Equality Act 2010.
 

Other considerations

Links to Mayoral priorities
The proposals are fully in line with the first objective of the Mayor’s Economic Development Strategy to promote London as the world capital of business, the world’s top international visitor destination and the world’s leading centre of learning and creativity. 

Key risks and issues
1.    Should this decision not be approved:

o    the Mayor will be less informed when making decision on L&P’s future funding.
o    the promotion of London may not be as optimised and efficient should the review not take place. 

2.    There are tight timescales involved as L&P are currently planning for their Two-Year Strategic Plan and we need to make sure that the review is aligned with their Strategy so that it can take into consideration the review’s recommendations. 

3.    L&P will be appointing a new Chief Executive. The review’s timelines should be aligned with the recruitment of L&P’s new chief executive to ensure the review’s recommendations are taken into consideration in the job description and recruitment process.
 

Financial comments

5.1    Any costs arising from the review will be met from EBPU’s budget subject to authorisation from the Executive Director of Development, Enterprise and Environment.   

Planned delivery approach and next steps

Activity

Timeline

Commence Review

September 2016

Establish review work streams and detailed timescales

September 2016

Report and recommendations to be presented to the Mayor

21 October 2016

Appendices and supporting papers

See attached (Appendix A)