Mayor announces single new promotion agency for London

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has announced today (21 December) a four-year funding
deal for a new promotion agency for London, which will bring together the work of
the existing agencies for tourism, inward investment, and international students. Think London, Visit London and
Study London will be brought together under the new umbrella agency from April
2011.

The single agency will have the working title of
Promote London and will lead on promoting the capital in the run up to and
during the 2012 Olympic Games.

The new single agency will receive £14m per
annum over the four-year spending review period. This represents a cut in the
current levels of funding for the three former separate entities.

Commenting on today’s announcement, Tracy Halliwell, Director of Business Tourism, Visit London said: “Visit London is delighted that funding has been secured for tourism promotion for London in the crucial run up and post the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. London will now be able to deliver a positive economic legacy for London. It is crucial that London continues proactive promotion to maintain its place as the best city on earth to visit, invest, work, hold conventions and major events.”

Dame
Judith Mayhew Jonas, the Chairman of the New West End Company representing
retailers and property owners in London’s
West End, and former Chairman of the Royal Opera House, has been
appointed Interim Chair. She will work with Danny Lopez, currently a Group
Director at the London Development
Agency (LDA), who will act as the Iinterim Chief Executive to manage the
transition from the existing three agencies into
one.

“This new agency will play a vital role in
ensuring that we can continue to foster London’s reputation across the globe as a
fantastic place to live, work, study and visit,” the Mayor said. “Its creation
is the fruit of detailed negotiations with central Government, which are nearing their conclusion, and shows
that another key element of my vision
for London has
been secured.

“I’m pleased the
Government has recognised the
importance of fuelling London’s economic
development which will, in turn, keep
the motor of the UK economy going. With the London
2012 Games around the corner, it has never been more
important for us to show the world exactly what our city has to offer,” he
added.

Dame
Judith Mayhew Jonas said she was delighted to play a part in this important
transition. “While promoting tourism, inward investment and higher education will remain absolutely core
to the new agency, it will also promote the whole of the capital and its many
other myriad and wonderful parts in new and exciting ways. We will work to bring
on board many of the existing commercial partners of Think and Visit and establish new
relations with other parts of London’s economy to promote them to our global
audience.” 

The new agency will be a private sector company
limited by guarantee. It will formally take over from 1 April 2011 when the
LDA’s contracts with the three existing agencies will come to an end.

The temporary cover arrangements for the Chair and Chief Executive positions are
intended to be a short-term measure
and will continue until the roles are filled through appropriate
recruitment processes. It is
anticipated that there will be continuity with some board members of the existing agencies being invited to
join the interim board of the new agency.

Paul Colston

Author

Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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