Mayor announces single new promotion agency for London

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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.
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