DD2252 Royal Docks Promotion and Investment Activity

Type of decision: 
Director's decision
Date signed: 
12 July 2018
Decision by: 
David Lunts, Executive Director Housing and Land and Interim CEO of OPDC

Executive summary

DD2201 approved expenditure of up to £230,000 for a programme of marketing and communications throughout 2017-19 to help communicate a strong place brand for the Royal Docks Enterprise Zone (EZ) and accelerate its successful transformation into a world-class business district and urban quarter. This has enabled the Royal Docks Team to have a significant profile at key industry and trade events (such as London Festival of Architecture (LFA), Marché International des Professionnels d'Immobilier (MIPIM) Asia, MIPIM Europe, The London Real Estate Forum (LREF) and London Tech Week); to assess the feasibility and commence delivery of a physical space in the Royal Docks as a focal point for promotion and investment; and to start developing an ambitious brand strategy, visual identity and digital platform. It has also enabled a programme of interim communications and upgrades to the existing Royal Docks London website.

An extensive programme of activation (as approved in MD2049 and detailed in DD2203) is about to commence through the summer period – including the Royal Docks Urban Beach and London Festival of Architecture, and therefore a further marketing budget of £38,000 is required to enable us to fully promote and capitalise on the opportunity. This additional expenditure request is an extension of the activity noted in DD2201 (and within the expenditure envelope agreed by MD2049).


That the Executive Director for Housing and Land approves an additional £38,000 of revenue expenditure on marketing and communications throughout 2017-19 to help promote the Royal Docks and drive footfall and visitor interest (taking total approved expenditure to £268,000).

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

Mayoral Decision 2049 approved expenditure of £3.5m for the financial years 2017-19 to fund the establishment of the new Royal Docks Delivery Team, to enable the preparation of an Enterprise Zone (EZ) Detailed Delivery Plan and implement an early programme of regeneration and promotional activity to drive forward the potential of the EZ and, critically, to achieve an early business rate income.

The approved budget for promotional and marketing activity in MD2049 and detailed in DD2201 was £230,000 of revenue expenditure. This budget has now been fully allocated and a contract has been signed with brand and design agency, Dn&Co, to help collaboratively develop and communicate the Royal Docks brand strategy and place narrative.

Alongside the development of the Royal Docks brand strategy, a number of significant events and opportunities have provided an excellent opportunity to extend promotion and spark interest in the Royal Docks. This includes an extensive programme of events on-site in the Royal Docks including the London Festival of Architecture; a significantly enhanced Urban Beach with a day-time and evening offer including a floating swimming structure; the launch of the V22 Silvertown Studios; and an ambitious public art and place marking programme.

This additional budget request of £38,000 is an extension of the activity noted in DD2201 and will enable a unique brand identity to be established for the Royal Docks Urban Beach; an events, news and listings functionality to be integrated into our interim website; a html newsletter to be created and supporting Royal Docks photography and imagery to be commissioned to feature in forthcoming promotional campaigns. This additional funding is needed to cover these extra marketing and promotional activity costs as a result of responding to new opportunities being identified as critical to supporting existing and new projects. The current approved DD2201 was an estimation of work identified in 2017, these new costs were not known at the time and have been identified recently. Therefore, the existing budget has already been allocated and committed to spends as identified in DD2201 and will not cover these new costs This additional expenditure will be incurred in 2018-19 financial year. (£38,000 revenue)

Objectives and expected outcomes

The objectives of the commission(s) are to:

- Help competitively position the Royal Docks EZ and support the wider regeneration and development efforts of key partners and stakeholders;

- Increase investor, occupier and visitor interest in the Royal Docks EZ and help accelerate early business rate income;

- Increase footfall, dwell times and visitor numbers to the Royal Docks EZ by comprehensively planning and promoting the creative and cultural offer;

- Showcase the developments underway in the Royal Docks EZ and engage local communities in helping to shape and articulate the area’s long-term ambition.

- Principally, the marketing and promotional activity set out in this DD supports the Mayor’s priorities to regenerate the Royal Docks EZ whilst strengthening London’s position as a world city of innovation, business and culture, and will increase sustainable investment in London’s eastern growth area.

Equality comments

Under Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010, as a public authority, the GLA must have ‘due regard’ of the need to:

• Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation; and

• Advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between people who have a protected characteristic and those who do not.

Marketing and promotional activity will reach out to and engage with a wide and diverse range of audiences, which includes local communities, visitors, investors, occupiers, businesses, the media as well as collaborators and stakeholders. Content will be accessible and inclusive and will draw in surrounding communities into the evolving story of the Royal Docks, including work with local schools and community groups to help deliver on LBN’s Convergence objectives. Equalities considerations will also be taken into account by the GLA in connection with all work procured.

Other considerations

Risks: limited engagement and buy-in from stakeholders and development partners leading to confused and inconsistent marketing and promotional activity across the Royal Docks. This will be mitigated by establishing a quarterly marketing forum and identifying joined up marketing campaigns and opportunities.

The overall objective of this approval is to accelerate and maximise the regeneration of the Royal Docks EZ. A strong promotional vision is essential for the Royal Docks in order to accelerate development and communicate the wider opportunity of the Royal Docks EZ beyond each individual development site. Stakeholders and development partners are eager to see a programme of marketing and communications that can amplify the Royal Docks offer and resonate positively with local, London and international audiences.

It is not considered that any further impact assessment is required for this specific decision.

Key stakeholders including development partners and officers at both the London Borough of Newham and GLA have been consulted on the marketing and communications specifications and outputs required through this DD.

Financial comments

This decision requests approval for an additional revenue expenditure of £38,000 for further promotional and investment activity at the Royal Docks EZ. DD2201 approved £230,000 for promotional and marketing activity taking total promotional expenditure to £268,000.

The above expenditure will be funded from the Royal Docks EZ Delivery Budget (MD2049) and will be incurred in 2018-19.

Activity table



Beach Identity and positioning

May/June 2018

Website Developments and Newsletter HTML template

May/June 2018

Photography and Marketing Assets

May/June 2018

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