DD2090 Cultural Event - The Salesman Screening

Type of decision: 
Director's decision
Date signed: 
13 February 2017
Decision by: 
Martin Clarke (past staff), Executive Director of Resources

Executive summary

This request for a Director’s decision seeks approval of the funding of a free cultural event on Trafalgar Square, which includes a screening of The Salesman, an Iranian-French drama film. The event will be part of the “#LondonIsOpen” campaign. This event aligns with the Mayor’s manifesto commitments to continue to back major cultural festivals to celebrate London’s religious and racial diversity and support access to the arts for all.


That the Executive Director of Resources approves the allocation and expenditure of up to £75,000 as a contribution to the costs of the delivery and production of a free cultural event on Trafalgar Square including the  screening of the film “The Salesman”. 

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1    It is proposed that a cultural event on Trafalgar Square will take place on Sunday 26 February inviting Londoners to a free screening of the Oscar nominated film ‘The Salesman’.

1.2    The GLA’s principle purposes include the promotion of economic and social development in Greater London. Events have a profound potential to bring economic and social benefits to London, in particular raise the city’s profile, presenting a positive image to the world’s media, encouraging travel to and through and both economic and cultural investment in London.

 1.3    Free events in particular, celebrate the city’s diversity as its core asset, bringing a variety of people together in shared experiences and providing opportunities for great social integration, ultimately bringing positive economic and social benefits to London. Culture also enriches people’s lives, improving their quality of life and general well-being. Free events also provide Londoners access to arts and entertainment which they may otherwise not be able to experience.

1.4    The organiser of this event is Face Events Limited.

1.5    The total cost of the event is £115,000 and it is proposed that the GLA make a contribution of up to £75,000 of Face Events Limited’s costs.   This GLA contribution is comparable to our other cultural events held on Trafalgar Square. Face Events Limited will be responsible for the remaining event costs.

1.6    It is also proposed that free access to and use of Trafalgar Square is provided.  

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1    To support an event on Trafalgar Square where the content and activity aligns with the Mayor’s #LondonIsOpen campaign.

2.2    To provide Londoners free engagement with high quality cultural activity which supports the Mayor’s manifesto commitment to provide access to the arts for all and to continue to back major cultural festivals to celebrate London’s religious and racial diversity.

     Additional benefits

2.3    Whilst difficult to measure, there are a number of additional benefits that we are actively trying to foster through staging the event, including:

•    Increased positive global reputation of London.
•    Positive profile for London, encouraging economic investment.
•    Education and increased awareness of other communities in London encouraging social integration and cohesion.
•    Encouraging a sense of pride in Londoners for the city they live.
•    Enjoyment and satisfaction to support the well-being of Londoners and improving their health and wellbeing and quality of life (particularly where Londoners disposable income is limited and free events offer access to arts and entertainment which they may otherwise not be able to experience.

Equality comments

3.1    The event is planned to be inclusive and aimed at all Londoners, culturally and socially, achieved through the programme content, the broad and targeted approach of marketing channels, and access facilities at the event.  This event is about bringing different communities together, sharing cultures and supporting social integration. 

Other considerations

4.1    Key risks and issues




Risk description

Mitigation / Risk response


Event may be cancelled due to force majeure (e.g. extreme weather, riots, industrial action, etc)

External issues monitored via project planning and risk assessment


As an external event, part funded by the GLA, there is a risk that the recipient of funding does not obtain the  additional funds to ensure successful delivery and make thus make further requests  of the GLA

Regular project planning meetings, where plans and latest budgets are reviewed, are held with the event organisers.  The organisers have already demonstrated significant support from within the film and TV industry. The funding agreement will make it clear that the GLA’s contribution is capped at the £75,000 proposed, this figure aligns with GLA’s contribution to other cultural events on Trafalgar Square.   


Reputational risk to the Mayor of an event failing.

As with all events of Trafalgar Square we will work closely with a multi-agency planning group, and assess event delivery risks.


That an event audience exceeds the capacity of Trafalgar Square. 

The pre-marketing and comms plans will need to be low key, to help reduce the impact of increased audience attendance.  However, audience numbers can be difficult to predict as they can depend on many external factors including the weather.  Security and stewarding will be in place at the event and a crowd management plan will be agreed by all agencies in the planning and operational process. 

4.2    Links to Mayoral strategies and priorities

4.2.1    In approving this event, this directly links to:

•    Manifesto Commitment – Access to the Arts: Continue to back major cultural festivals to celebrate London’s religious and racial diversity.
•    City for all Londoners: Making London a fairer and more tolerant city open and accessible to all, and one in which we can all live and prosper free from prejudice. Enabling all Londoners to benefit from the city’s fantastic arts and culture.

4.3    Impact assessments and consultation    

4.3.1    The impact assessment of the event will be carried out through the multi-agency planning process (Licensing Operational Safety Planning Groups), including Westminster City Council, MPS, TfL, LAS, LFB and other key stakeholders to the specific event.  This is an essential part of the Premise Licence process. 

4.3.2    Neighbours on Trafalgar Square will also be consulted. 

Financial comments

5.1    The gross cost of this event is up to £115,000 and the net cost to the GLA will be up to £75,000. The event organiser, Face Events Limited, would be responsible for covering the remaining event costs of £40,000.

5.2    The GLA contribution of up to £75,000 will be governed via a funding agreement with Face Events Limited and will be funded from the Events for London Programme budget for 2016-17. In addition to the GLA’s cash contribution to the event, the GLA will also support the event via officer time and waiving the fee for the use of Trafalgar Square. It should be noted that waiving the fee for the use of Trafalgar Square will not have a detrimental effect on the Authority’s Squares income target as this income budget is forecast to overachieve by the end of March 2017. 

Planned delivery approach and next steps



Project scope

6-10 February 2017

Multi-agency feedback and input

9 February 2017

CIB/DD approval

13 February 2017

Funding Agreement signed

14 February 2017

Announcement of Event

10 February 2017

Delivery Start Date

14 February 2017

Delivery End Date

26 February 2017

Project Closure:

March 2017

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