DD2248 Busk in London & London Music Fund

Type of decision: 
Director's decision
Date signed: 
16 May 2018
Decision by: 
Fiona Fletcher-Smith, Executive Director of Development, Enterprise and Environment

Executive summary

This decision seeks approval to continue delivering the London Music Board and Busk in London and expenditure related to these projects, as well as providing grant funding to the London Music Fund, of which the Mayor is a Patron.

The music industry is valued at £4.1billion in the UK. Many of the organisations that make up the music industry are based in London. Music tourism contributes nearly £1 billion every year to the capital’s economy, attracting 3.59 million music tourists.

The Mayor has already implemented a number of initiatives to protect London’s music infrastructure, support musical talent, champion London as the global music capital and unlock the potential of London’s music history and heritage. Working with the Night Czar and the London Music Board, further initiatives and programmes will be developed.


That the Executive Director of Communities & Intelligence approves:

• Expenditure of up to £55,000 to continue to deliver the Busk in London programme.

• Grant funding of £24,000 to the London Music Fund

• The receipt and expenditure of sponsorship/funding in relation the activities listed above.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1 Busk in London

1.1.1 Busking and street performance provide vibrancy and animation to many of London’s spaces. Research by Westminster University in 2016 found that 86% of tourists and 62% of residents were in favour of busking, which was perceived to enhance visitor experience and make a cultural contribution to the capital.

1.1.2 Busk in London was launched in 2015 to help make busking in the capital as easy as possible by cutting red tape and tackling misconceptions about street performance. It provides practical resources and advice for performers, boroughs, audiences and residents via a one-stop-shop website.

1.1.3 It encourages private landowners to open up spaces where street performance can take place to showcase the wealth of talent London has to offer. The programme provides 7,000+ hrs of live performance in the capital each year through its curated busking schemes, with paid gigs providing £70,000 of direct earnings to performers.

1.1.4 Busk in London runs International Busking Day, a worldwide celebration of busking which reaches over 100 locations across six continents. It also delivers Gigs, the Mayor’s annual busking competition for aspiring musicians.

1.1.5 The Busk in London project was previously approved on MDl397 and subsequently MDs 1603 and 2127. GLA funding of £55,000 is proposed to enable the continued delivery of Busk in London by consultants Found in Music. The programme leverages additional revenue through commercial activity, such as busking schemes on private land and curated performances.

1.2 London Music Fund

1.2.1 The London Music Fund is an independent charity with the Mayor as Patron.

1.2.2 The fund supports nearly 400 young Londoners from families with a low income to learn musical instruments and develop their potential through four-year scholarships. 65% of scholars are from BAME backgrounds.

1.2.3 It also funds 1,500 young Londoners per year to learn and perform with top musicians in iconic venues through its Partnerships Fund.

1.2.4 The main delivery partners are the 32 London borough Music Education Hubs. They work with
schools, community music providers and professional musicians across London. Since it was founded
in 2011, the Fund has given £1.6m in grants to London’s boroughs via their music education hubs.

1.2.5 Participation in funded activities helps young Londoners develop skills for employment, gain
confidence and access social networks and vital skills that will set them up for life.

1.2.6 Grant funding of £151,000 was approved in 2017-18 in MD2127. Additional grant funding of £24,000 in 2018-19 will enable to the Fund to continue its work supporting hundreds of young musicians across all London boroughs.

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1 Busk in London

2.1.1 Approval is sought for expenditure of up to £55,000 to deliver year three of the
Busk in London delivery plan. The consultant, Found in Music, was appointed following competitive tendering via the Official Journal European Union (OJEU) in 2016. They will continue to deliver the project as per the terms of their three-year contract.

2.1.2 The objectives of Busk in London include to:

• Ensure that the Buskers’ Code is widely used by buskers and those who manage public spaces.
• Deliver International Busking Day in 100 worldwide locations.
• Deliver a busking competition showcasing 100 performers.
• Support, advice and job opportunities provided to performers.
• Up to 10 private organisations or landowners pay for the services of Busk in London.
• At least £250,000 income leveraged from LAs, BIDs, private companies and sponsors.

2.1.3 The GLA investment will help ensure that:

• More public spaces are animated with performances, increasing London’s attractiveness as a tourist, retail and leisure destination.
• Public perception of busking is improved.
• Busk in London supported buskers develop their careers.
• London is perceived as a busker friendly city, attracting new and exciting talent.

2.2 London Music Fund

2.2.1 Approval is sought for grant funding of £24,000 to the London Music Fund to support its ongoing work supporting young musicians in the capital.

2.2.2 The GLA investment will help ensure that:

• Young people from families with a low income are given the chance to learn a musical instrument
• Young musicians can benefit from working alongside professional music organisations to further develop their skill and experience

Equality comments

3.1 Under Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010, the Mayor of London must have ‘due regard’ of the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation as well as to advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between people who have a protected characteristic and those who do not.

3.2 Through the development of the Mayor’s draft Culture Strategy, Culture for All Londoners, the policies and commitments set out have undergone an Integrated Impact Assessment to identify the impact of these on a range of objectives for sustainable development including equalities, health inequalities and community safety. The assessment found that all policy and commitments had a positive or neutral impact on these areas.

3.3 The GLA contribution to the activities as set out in this report will enable the continued creation of both positive social and economic impact in the capital. The GLA funding of these projects will also foster community cohesion and improve the wellbeing of Londoners through a continued and substantial cultural offering.

3.4 All the programme activities set out in this report will be accessible to all. London Music Fund provides opportunities for young people from low-income families, whilst the Busk in London programme will continue to give all Londoners the opportunities to show case their musical abilities in many of London’s world renowned public spaces.

3.5 The Busk in London programme continue to ensure that public spaces are animated with performances, increasing London’s attractiveness as a tourist, retail and leisure destination, resulting positive economic and social impact where the busking pitches will be located.

Other considerations

4.1 The activities and programmes outlined in this report link to Mayoral strategies and priorities including:

• A City for All Londoners, wherein culture is seen as the golden thread, key to our future success, both for integrating and strengthening communities and supporting more liveable and successful places.

• The Mayor’s vision for Healthy Streets, which are more welcoming to people and encourage them to make active and sustainable travel choices, for example by contributing to the healthy streets aspiration of ‘things to see and do’.

4.2 In terms of both social and economic development, the programmes will help the GLA work with businesses and individuals to improve productivity and growth. The aim is that all Londoners progress and reach their full potential and that London’s businesses can access the skills they need to succeed.

4.3 The programme activities set out in this report provide opportunities for linking with the London Plan’s strategic policies to support London’s cultural offer and its diverse range of arts, cultural, and entertainment enterprises. The activities will cut across various Mayoral policy areas and will be carried out in collaboration with other GLA teams which include: Regeneration, Events, Education, Volunteering and Communities & Social Policy.

Financial comments

5.1       Approval is being sought for the expenditure of up to £79,000 to continue to deliver existing music programmes within the Culture and Creative Industries Unit.  The breakdown is as follows:




Busk In London


London Music Fund






5.2       £24,000 will be issued as a grant to the London Music fund charity whilst £55,000 will be paid to Found in Music to continue to deliver the Busk In London programme as per their current contract terms.


5.3       The expenditure for this was agreed in the Mayor’s 2018/19 budget which was published under MD2268.

Activity table



Confirm one-year contract extension for Busk in London consultancy

May 2018

Confirm grant funding to the London Music Fund

May 2018

International Busking Day

21 July 2018

Delivery of Mayor’s busking competition

May – September 2018

Mapping of formal and informal busking pitches

May – September 2018

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