ADD2110 GLA Principal Sponsorship of New London Architecture 2017-18

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Date signed: 
15 May 2017
Decision by: 
Jamie Ratcliff, Assistant Director, Housing

Executive summary

The New London Architecture (NLA) is a unique forum which brings together London’s architecture, planning and development professionals, together with communities, developers and investors, to explore and promote ways of making London a better place for all.  Through an annual programme of events, conferences & workshops, think tanks, site visits, exhibitions, awards and publications, the NLA showcases and promotes London as a hub of creative talent and a leading international centre of learning, creativity, development and growth. This helps to deliver the Mayor’s priorities to stimulate regeneration and create new homes and jobs.

Approval is sought from the Assistant Director to renew the GLA’s agreement to be a Principal Partner of the NLA for the 2017-18 year. This will enable the GLA to continue to take a prominent role in the NLA’s work and maintain access to the full range of benefits associated with high-level sponsorship.  


That the Assistant Director of Housing approves:

1.    Expenditure of £22,000 to renew the GLA’s sponsorship of New London Architecture for one year (2017-18) at a level of Principal Partner; and 

2.    A related exemption from the requirements of the GLA’s Contracts and Funding Code (which normally requires a formal tender process for contracts with a value between £10,000 and £150,000).

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1    Since April 2015, the GLA has sponsored the New London Architecture (NLA) as a Principal Partner. This allows the GLA access to a full range of sponsorship benefits, including significantly shaping and contributing to the NLA’s annual programme in order to demonstrate the GLA’s leadership and activities in relation to critical housing, planning and development issues. It provides a unique platform on which to engage with planning and development sector professionals. Previously, the GLA sponsored NLA for a number of years at a lower level of sponsorship, which allowed the GLA a number of free places at NLA events.

1.2    As part of our principal sponsorship, GLA officers have helped shape and participated in NLA programme activities focused on housing, planning, design, place-making, tall buildings, infrastructure and culture. Recent events have included ‘The Big Debate’ – a discussion on the future shape of London, posing new ideas and thinking for the next London Plan.

1.3    The cost of sponsorship for 2016-17 was £22,000 (see ADD384). The costs of sponsorship in 2015-16 was £20,000 (this lower cost did not include the Mayor’s Prize at the New London Awards).

1.4    Approval is now sought to continue to sponsor the NLA at the higher Principal Partner level, at a total cost to the GLA of £22,000 for 2017-18. 

Single Source procurement

1.5    Given the value of the proposed contract, GLA officers acknowledge that section 4.1 of the GLA’s Contracts and Funding Code (“Code”) requires a formal tender process for all goods and services contracts with a value above £10,000.  However, section 5 of the Code provides that an exemption from that requirement may be approved upon certain specified grounds, including where there is a complete absence of competition.  For the reasons set out below, GLA officers are of the view that this ground is applicable in this case.

1.6    The New London Architecture provides a unique forum and platform for the GLA to engage with other professionals in the planning, housing, architecture and regeneration fields.  This includes the promotion of major initiatives to key stakeholders, such launches of Opportunity Area Planning Frameworks (OAPFs). It enables the GLA to participate in critical debate on issues affecting the future of London including housing, public realm, tall buildings and the densification needed to accommodate growth. The promotion and showcasing of GLA work and projects via the NLA channels, including its programme of activities and on its website, is seen as having a uniquely valuable and strategic impact which cannot be provided by another similar supplier.  Additionally, the range of benefits supplied through principal sponsorship of the NLA cannot be obtained from another single organisation.  They help to deliver the Mayor’s priorities for new housing and economic development in areas of the city.

1.7    A lower level of sponsorship (at a lower cost) would limit the extent of this engagement and provide fewer benefits to various teams across the GLA.  The higher Principal Partner level is deemed to be good value for money, as it will enables the range of benefits to be more widely used across the GLA.

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1    Sponsorship of the NLA contributes to two key Mayoral priorities: building more homes for Londoners, and securing jobs and growth for the capital.  NLA events are used to promote major programmes such as Opportunity Areas and Housing Zones which stimulate regeneration and create new jobs and homes. This supports the unlocking of the potential of the Opportunity Areas, London’s reservoirs of brownfield land.  NLA events also support the development and implementation of the London Plan.  The New London Awards recognise the best in planning, architecture and development in London and encourage high standards of design and public realm.

2.2    Principal sponsorship of the NLA provides an opportunity for the GLA to make a significant contribution to the following objectives of the NLA annual programme:

•    Contribute to London’s profile as an international centre for excellence in the fields of architecture, planning and development by promoting the talent, output and success of these sectors, and help to create opportunities for these sectors to win business from domestic and overseas clients;
•    Facilitate innovation, cross-fertilisation and testing of ideas, best practice and professional services through networking and learning opportunities;
•    Spotlight, celebrate and communicate the talents and achievements of London professionals, thereby enhancing London’s global reputation as a leader in these fields;
•    Provide a platform for the architecture and planning sector to showcase the best of their work to a targeted local and international audience;
•    Bring together architects and built environment professionals to engage with setting the future agenda for London through debate and engagement in the issues currently affecting London, including housing, public realm, tall buildings and the densification needed to accommodate growth.
•    Work with the principal sponsors including the GLA to facilitate high quality events across the capital and give high prominence to the sponsors on the NLA website and all relevant publicity materials.

2.3    In line with these objectives, teams across the GLA can access the unique benefits associated with being a Principal Partner of the NLA, which include: 

•    Overall alignment with New London Architecture and its year round programme of events, research and publications – with the ability to feed in ideas and suggestions to the programme for future events and areas to cover, in order to shape the NLA programme
•    Quarterly Meetings with Senior NLA team to discuss involvement and areas of focus for the GLA
•    Opportunity to formally support two key programmes within the year. Suggested programmes – International Dialogues / London’s Boroughs
•    Opportunities for GLA speakers as appropriate across NLA events
•    Branding as one of a select number of Principal Partners across the NLA website, all NLA digital communications, in the NLA Galleries, and our delegate packs
•    Continuation of ‘Mayor’s Prize’ within the New London Awards including a GLA table at the New London Awards Lunch
•    Free tickets to NLA half-day conferences
•    Discounted rate for NLA on location events
•    Preferential booking for free and member only events
•    NLA events CPD accredited
•    Subscriptions to New London Quarterly
•    Free hire of The NLA Galleries at The Building Centre for an evening event (catering and security costs apply)
•    Supported by Mayor of London logo in prominent place on all NLA literature and supporters board in the NLA galleries

Equality comments

3.1    The principal level of sponsorship of the NLA allows wider access from across the GLA to the range of benefits available.  There will be opportunities to promote and showcase some of the GLA’s key projects, all of which are subject to adherence to the GLA’s duties under the Equalities Act 2010.  It is unlikely that sponsorship of the NLA would result in any negative equalities impacts.


Other considerations

4.1    A key risk associated with principal sponsorship of the NLA may be that the GLA does not fully engage with the NLA during the year so that we not obtain the full range of benefits that comes with this package.  However, Planning and Housing and Land liaise with the NLA to coordinate requests to access the benefits, and work closely with the NLA to ensure Mayoral priorities are fully represented within the NLA programme.

4.2    Principal Sponsorship of the NLA facilitates the promotion of a range of key priority projects which are supported by the Mayor.

Financial comments

5.1    This decision requests approval to spend £22,000 to renew the GLA’s sponsorship of New London Architecture for one year (2017-18) at a level of Principal Partner. Approval is also required for an exemption from the requirements of the GLA’s Contracts and Funding Code.

5.2    The cost will be shared between Planning directorate contributing £12,000 from Planning to Pre-App Reserves and Housing & Land directorate funding the remaining £10,000 from Management and Support Consultancy budget. The sponsorship payment will be made in the financial year 2017-18.

Planned delivery approach and next steps



Procurement of contract [for externally delivered projects]


Announcement [if applicable]


Delivery Start Date [for project proposals]

April 2017

Main milestones


Main milestones


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


Delivery End Date [for project proposals]

March 2018

Project Closure: [for project proposals]



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