ADD384 GLA Sponsorship of New London Architecture 2016-17

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Date signed: 
23 February 2016
Decision by: 
Stewart Murray, Assistant Director of Planning

Executive summary

The New London Architecture (NLA) is recognised as a unique forum which brings together professionals in the fields of architecture, planning and development in London, together with communities, developers and investors to explore and promote ways of making London a better place.  Through an annual programme of events, conferences & workshops, think tanks, site visits, exhibitions, awards and publications, the NLA showcases, celebrates 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 enable the GLA to be a Principal Sponsor of the NLA for the 2016-17 year, thereby taking an active and prominent role in the NLA and opening up access to the full range of benefits associated with high-level sponsorship to all interested teams within the GLA.  



That the Assistant Director approves: 

•    Expenditure of £22,000 for the GLA’s sponsorship of New London Architecture for one year at a level of Principal Sponsor.  This will be comprised of £12,000 from the Planning budget and £10,000 from Housing & Land budgets.  

•    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    The GLA has sponsored the New London Architecture (NLA) for a number of years at a lower level of sponsorship funded from the Planning unit only, as well as ad-hoc support from the Regeneration unit for the London Festival of Architecture and NLA Awards.  General benefits of the standard sponsorship included a number of free places for attending NLA half-day conferences and involvement in a range of networking events.  These events help to promote development opportunities in areas of the city where the Mayor wants to stimulate regeneration and create new homes and jobs.

1.2    In late-2014, the GLA agreed to raise its level of annual sponsorship to access an expanded range of benefits. The benefits included significantly contributing to the NLA’s annual programme to demonstrate the GLA’s leadership and activities in relation to critical housing, planning and development issues; and access to a unique platform to engage with professionals in the planning and development sector and to promote key GLA initiatives.  This arrangement was confirmed in April 2015 at a cost of £20,000 per year, which was divided equally between Planning and Housing & Land.  During the year 2015-16, members of the Regeneration, Environment, Culture, Planning and Housing & Land teams have participated in NLA programme events and activities.  A number of bespoke events have been held to successfully promote the work of the GLA in London Riverside and Old Oak Park Royal

1.3    Approval is now sought to continue to sponsor the NLA at the higher Principal Sponsor level, at a total cost to the GLA of £22,000 for a year. The NLA has offered an improved deal for 16/17 by increasing the number of partnered events from 3 to 4.  The GLA has used up its 15/16 allocation of 3 partner events; however if the GLA commits to supporting the NLA in 16/17, the NLA will host for free a partner event on the Royal Docks on 25 February 2016. 

Single Source procurement

1.4    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.

1.5    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 as the recent launch of the London Riverside OAPF and City in the East and the Old Oak Park Royal Development Corporation. 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.

1.6    Continuing to sponsor the NLA at a lower level (at a lower cost) would limit the extent of this engagement and provide fewer benefits to various teams across the GLA.  The higher Principal Sponsorship level is deemed to be good value for money, as it will enable the range of benefits to be more widely disbursed across the GLA than had been the case in previous years under a standard sponsorship arrangement, and the NLA have improved the benefits of sponsorship from the previous year.


Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1    Sponsorship of the NLA will contribute to the Mayor’s two top priorities: securing jobs and growth for the capital, and increasing the supply of housing for Londoners.  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 implementation of the London Plan, which sets out a step change in housing supply for Londoners.  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 may avail of the unique range of benefits associated with Principal Sponsorship of the NLA.  For the coming year the NLA have increased their offer which includes:

•    GLA Principal Sponsor branding on NLA website, all NLA email communications, supporters board displayed in NLA galleries and all NLA printed material including delegate packs & evaluation forms for each of our conferences
•    25 delegate tickets at NLA half-day conferences
•    50% discount for on location events and any additional delegate tickets booked
•    30 nominated members to receive invitations to NLA networking events and annual subscriptions to NLQ
•    Opportunity to contribute to the NLA programme – topic ideas, speakers, think tank invitees, NLQ editorial suggestions
•    Opportunity to submit projects for inclusion in NLA exhibitions
•    Evening use of NLA gallery for your own event
•    15% discount on Building Centre meeting and seminar rooms
•    Preferential booking for free events
•    25% discount on gallery hire for exhibitions, New London Quarterly advertising and any additional sponsorship options
•    25% discount on New London Awards entry and places at awards lunch
•    Up to four partnered events (one more than in 2015/6) in NLA programme over the next 12 months (topics to be agreed in consultation with NLA programming team):
Full branding at the event and in all marketing in the run up to the event
Input into programme and speaking opportunity/sponsors welcome
Opportunity to place a full-page advert in the delegate pack
10 free guest places
Opportunity to distribute literature at the event and/or a pop-up stand
Editorial coverage in New London Quarterly
•    NLA to provide:  Full programme management of the event; Speaker acquisition and briefing; Full event facilities – 200 seat seminar room, galleries for breakfast and full AV and technical services; event management including catering and staffing on the day.
•    An additional partnered event in 15/16 on the Royal Docks Opportunity Area


Equality comments

3.1    An enhanced level of sponsorship of the NLA will allow 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 adherance 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 enhanced sponsorship of the NLA may be that the GLA does not fully engage with the NLA during the year and that we may not obtain the full range of benefits that comes with this package.  However, Planning and Housing and Land are working closely with the NLA to coordinate requests to access the benefits, and there are indications that the number of requests is continuing to increase.

4.2    Principal Sponsorship of the NLA will facilitate the promotion and showcasing of a range of key priority projects which are supported by the Mayor.


Financial comments

5.    Financial comments

5.1    Assistant Director’s approval is being sought for expenditure of £22,000 for Principal Sponsorship of the New London Architecture for one year (2016-17). Approval is also required for an exemption from the requirements of the GLA’s Contracts and Funding Code.

5.2    The cost of £22,000 will be funded by £12,000 from pre-application reserves (2016-17) and £10,000 from the 2016-17 Housing & Land Management and Support Consultancy budget. The sponsorship payment will be made in the financial year 2016-17.

6.    Legal comments

6.1    Officers have indicated in sections 1 to 4 of this report that:

6.1.1    the decision requested of the Director (in accordance with the GLA’s Contracts and Funding Code) falls within the GLA’s statutory powers to do such things considered to further or which are facilitative of, conducive or incidental to the promotion of economic development and wealth creation, or social development in Greater London; and

6.1.2    in formulating the proposals in respect of which a decision is sought officers have complied with the Authority’s related statutory duties to:

•    pay due regard to the principle that there should be equality of opportunity for all people (further details on equalities are set out in section 3 above) and to the duty under section 149 of the 2010 Act to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation as well as to advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not ;

•    consider how the proposals will promote the improvement of health of persons, health inequalities between persons and to contribute towards the achievement of sustainable development in the United Kingdom; and

•    consult with appropriate bodies.       

6.2    Section 4 of the Code requires the GLA to seek three or more written quotations in respect of the services required or call off the services required from an accessible framework. However, the assistant director may approve an exemption from this requirement under section 5 of the Code upon certain specified grounds. One of those grounds is a complete absence of competition. Officers have indicated in section 1 of this report that this ground applies, and that the proposed contract affords value for money.

6.3    On this basis the assistant director may approve the proposed exemption if satisfied with the content of this report.


Planned delivery approach and next steps



Procurement of contract [for externally delivered projects]


Announcement [if applicable]


Delivery Start Date

April 2016

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


Delivery End Date

March 2017

Project Closure



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