ADD2176 Renewal of Retail Database from The Local Data Company

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Date signed: 
05 December 2017
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, however 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 £15,000 for the purchase of 2017 Retail Database from the Local Data Company.


That the Assistant Director of Intelligence approves the purchase of 2017 Retail Database from the Local Data Company for up to £15,000 to be met by the existing GIS & Infrastructure team budget for 2017-18.


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. Below is a table mapping expenditure since 2014/15.


Data Cost


£        12,600


£        13,230


£        13,891


£        14,586


£        54,307


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

1.3    The National Database of Addresses, which is 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 a third 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    To 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

3.1    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, with 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 2017/18 budget.

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

Financial comments

5.1    The expenditure of up to £15,000 will be funded from the GIS & Infrastructure team budget for 2017-18, held within the Intelligence Unit.


Planned delivery approach and next steps




Procurement of contract [for externally delivered projects]

Nov 2017

Announcement [if applicable]


Delivery Start Date [for project proposals]

1 day after PO raised

Main milestones


Main milestones


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


Delivery End Date [for project proposals]


Project Closure: [for project proposals]

7 days after PO


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