ADD2044 Renewal of Retail Database from The Local Data Company

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Date signed: 
01 November 2016
Decision by: 
Andrew Collinge, Assistant Director of Intelligence

Executive summary

The GIS & Infrastructure team (within the Intelligence Unit) purchase a number of datasets on behalf of the GLA each year. The Retail Database provides information down to shop unit level including sector, location and openings/closings. It has been used by teams across the GLA to inform a number of projects, including Town Centre Health and also the growth of fast food outlets.
Two alternative suppliers were considered, but the Local Data Company had the most consistent data across the boroughs and the finest level of classification.
The decision seeks approval for up to £14,000 for the purchase of 2015 Retail Database from the Local Data Company.


That the Assistant Director approves the purchase of 2015 Retail Database from the Local Data Company for up to £14,000 to be met by the existing GIS&I budget for 2016-17.


Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1    The GIS & infrastructure team (within the Intelligence Unit) purchase and maintain a number of geographic data sets on behalf of the organisation, providing much better value for money than individual directorates buying their own data independently.

1.2    The GLA has had access to a database of retail uses and vacancies for the past 4 years and in that time, several pieces of analysis have been carried out that would not be possible without it (including in 2016 the Town Centre Health Check).

1.3    The national database of Addresses, supplied by Ordnance Survey, Royal Mail and the local authorities, provides a basic classification (Residential v Commercial) with commercial being split into broad categories. However, projects looking at vacancy rates or the spread of particular types of shop would not be possible with this dataset.

1.4    The main alternative dataset by another supplier has less geographic coverage and in fact draws from the Local Data Company.

1.5    The most economically advantageous quote was obtained from the Local Data Company by customising the supply to the GLA’s requirements.

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1    Provide an update on the current database. The latest information is required to accurately inform report production, mapping and policy development. An annual update (including all openings and closures of retail outlets during the past 12 months) ensures that this need is met.

The Database consists of 114,000 individual records, covering all shopping areas across London at a business by business level. Each record includes name of company, map location, 3 levels of business category (for instance ‘Fast Food takeaway’, within ‘Food & Drink’, within ‘Leisure’, allowing sector or location based analysis to be carried out)

2.2    The data will be used in Geographical Information System (GIS), desktop publishing (such as Adobe Illustrator) and extracts used in presentations / reports

2.3    The GLA has several policy and project areas that requires this data including support for High Streets and Business Improvement Districts. By having a consistent series of snapshots dating back to 2010, officers can carry out accurate analysis for areas that have changed. This might include reductions in vacancies and changes in the type of shops.

Equality comments

The data will be available to help the GLA to understand equalities issues related to the retail sector. Examples might include the growth and concentration of betting and money lending shops in certain areas or access to physical banking services.


Other considerations

4.1    Possible risk – Data not delivered. 
Mitigation – data will be supplied as a single package, payment made after supply

4.2    Possible risk – Missing tiles or tiles out of order. 
Mitigation – The supplier has their own Quality Assurance processes

4.3    Links to Mayoral strategies and priorities – The data will support work in Town Centres, around transport hubs, major developments and outer London.

4.4    Impact assessments and consultations – The impact of not making this purchase is that decisions will not be able to be made or will be made based on out-of-date information. There is no financial impact of making the decision as it has already been profiled in the 2015/16 budget.

Consultation took place with the key user groups including representatives from the main teams (Intelligence, Planning and Housing).

Financial comments

5.1    The total cost of this proposal is up to £14,000 and will be contained within the existing Intelligence Unit budget for 2016-17, specifically the GIS element. Any changes to this proposal, including budgetary implications will be subject to further approval via the Authority’s decision-making process. All appropriate budget adjustments will be made.

5.2    The Intelligence Unit within the Communities & Intelligence Directorate will be responsible for managing this project and ensuring that the procurement and associated expenditure adheres to the Authority’s Financial Regulations, Contracts & Funding Code and Expenses & Benefits Framework.

Planned delivery approach and next steps



Procurement of contract [for externally delivered projects]

Oct 2016

Announcement [if applicable]


Delivery Start Date [Data supplied]

1 day after PO raised

Final evaluation start and finish (self/external) [delete as applicable]:


Delivery End Date [for project proposals]


Project Closure: [Data checking completed]

7 days after PO


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