MD1582 Cultural Tourism projects 2015/2016

Type of decision: 
Mayoral decision
Date signed: 
22 December 2015
Decision by: 
Boris Johnson MP (past staff), Mayor of London

Executive summary

Approval is required for expenditure of up to £200,000 for various Cultural Tourism projects to be delivered in 2015-2016. 

The GLA Culture team has committed to deliver a series of projects against the objectives set out in the Mayor’s Cultural Tourism Vision for London.

These projects will be a strong contribution to the Mayor’s cultural strategy, address opportunities for greater collaboration and cohesion between London’s culture and tourism stakeholders, and establish a more strategic and sustainable approach to maximise the economic benefits of cultural tourism across the whole city. 



That the Mayor approves:

•    Expenditure of up to £100,000 for the Cultural Tourism projects;  
•    The receipt of and corresponding expenditure of £99,300 of external funding from Heritage Lottery Funding to enhance the core programme elements. 


Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1     Tourism is a major economic driver for the capital and it is essential that London continues to be a leading cultural destination to attract future visitors and retain its market share against competitors. 

a.    Culture plays a leading role in attracting international and domestic visitors to London:  4 out of 5 visitors say it is their primary reason for coming here and 2014 saw another record-breaking 17.4m visitors come to the capital. 

b.    On 25 March 2015, the Mayor published a new vision (referenced in MD1316) to attract more cultural tourists to visit London, encourage more Londoners to experience the city’s offer and to maximise the potential for smaller and lesser known cultural gems found across the capital. This will be achieved through more collaborative working and addressing opportunities and issues raised during extensive consultations with over 60 public and private local, regional, national and international stakeholders. 

c.    Cultural tourists to London spend £7.3 billion and generate £3.2 billion a year to our economy, supporting 80,000 jobs. It’s important that London ensures its international appeal following London 2012 and that its bounce effect continues. 

d.    The promotional agency for London continues to lead tourism promotions for the capital and has to focus much of its limited resources on key activities to maximise return on investment.

e.    However, the Top 20 attractions in London account for 90% of all visits yet London has more museums than Paris, more heritage sites than Berlin and more art galleries than New York. Plus nearly half of London's cultural organisations don’t actively promote themselves internationally.

f.    Funds of up to £100,000 are available to be allocated to these strategic projects.

g.    Projects will include: 

i)    Specific campaigns from Dec 15 to Mar 16 including the Punk London campaign below plus additional activities e. g a Culture Map of the tube in partnership with TfL. 

ii)    Working with London & Partners, London Councils and TfL to create a new Local London content hub on and on TfL’s website to enhance the awareness of the local London offer to visitors and Londoners alike. 

iii)    New guidelines and pool of London cultural images for press and travel trade use to enhance the awareness and perception of the wider and contemporary culture on offer in London.

iv)    New workshops to develop skills and knowledge for London’s culture sector. Following on from the successful first Cultural Tourism Workshop at City Hall in June 2015 with 130 delegates from across London’s culture and tourism sectors, we are running two additional workshops to develop specific skills and exchange ideas, share learnings and instigate new collaborations.


Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1    The overall objectives for all the projects are as follows: 

2.1.1    Connecting the dots
Instigate closer collaborations with partners, big and small, across the public and private sectors to boost the economic impact of cultural tourism across the whole of London.

The Mayor is well placed to bring the right people together to maximise the benefits of cultural tourism at a city, national, and international level and establish new long term partnerships across the culture and tourism industries.

2.1.2    Amplifying the voice of London’s culture
Raise awareness of London’s diverse cultural offer by working with larger cultural institutions to nurture collaborations and champion smaller organisations.

With 90 per cent of visits going to the top 20 visitor attractions, it’s time to shout about the breadth and diversity of London’s cultural experience. We must make sure that, collectively, we provide the right information, to the right type of visitors via the best channel.

2.1.3    Enhance the storytelling and enhance the experience 

Ensure the perception of London as a compelling destination with first time and repeat visitors.
We will work closely with different partners to develop new ways we can tell London’s cultural story and support an enhanced cultural experience for visitors when they’re here.

Promoting the value and importance of more authentic cultural experience is in line with current tourism research into the growing desires of prospective visitors to London.

2.1.4    Maximising the benefits

We will work closer with Transport for London to better communicate the ease of traveling to cultural attractions and events across the capital. We are also working with the Team London ambassadors and local Business Improvement District (BID) visitor guides to raise the awareness of popular and less known cultural events and attractions.

We continue to work closely with London & Partners to complement and enhance their areas of work as well as support VisitBritain and other national agencies to develop London’s role to link up the rest of the UK.

2.2    Outcomes

2.2.1    Cultural tourism campaigns – (January to March 16 deliverables) 

£45,000 GLA budget / £99,300 external funds. Total budget of £144,300

Punk London will be a year-long cultural campaign commemorating the 40th anniversary of the popular youth movement that ignited in London in 1976 and its influence is still felt around the world.  

The GLA is collaborating a team of leading cultural and creative organisations to deliver the programme including: British Fashion Council, British Film Institute, British Library, Design Museum, Museum of London, ICA, the Roundhouse, Central St Martin's College, The 100 Club and The Photographer's Gallery.

Outcomes include:

i)    A launch event at The 100 Club in January 2016 to press, stakeholders, partners and invited guests to present the programme and generate media coverage. 
ii)    A campaign microsite that will detail the cultural programme and events, content and timeline on the key heritage moments and people, a Punk heritage trail though London and related content.
iii)    A Punk London programme booklet 15,000 copies will be printed to be distributed at participating partner venues and other key music and cultural venues.
iv)    Direct engagement with over 150,000 visitors and Londoners through a series of free and paid events and exhibitions.
v)    Recruitment and training of 10 volunteers working through GLA’s Team London Volunteer structure.

2.2.2    Enhance the local London content on and - (Delivered by March 2016)

£15,000 GLA budget

Outcomes include:

i)    Deliver high web traffic and on-site engagement on
ii)    London & Partners will seek and acquire sponsorship and ecommerce revenue of up to £50,000 to support sustained development. Receipt of this funding will be in the next financial year.
iii)    Generate a series of themed experiences and location based itineraries and packages specifically aimed at different types of cultural tourists.

2.2.3    New guidelines and pool of London cultural images for press and travel trade use - (Delivered by March 2016)

£30,000 GLA budget

Outcomes include:

i)    Creation of new image guidelines to advice on the type of images for cultural organisations big and small to create new photography assets. Working with L&P and VisitBritain.
ii)    Commission a small pool of new rights free images to portray London’s modern day, dynamic cultural offer to provide to a tourism partners and international media and travel trade.
iii)    Create a new process for cultural organisations to contribute rights free images for press and travel trade use.

2.2.4    Workshops to develop skills and knowledge for London’s culture sector -  (Delivered in January and March 2016)

£10,000 GLA budget

Outcomes include:

i)    Up to 60 delegates from small/medium sized cultural organisations attending the January workshop which will be in sponsored with Google and focus on developing digital skills and expertise. 
ii)    Up to 100 delegates from small/medium sized cultural organisations attending the March workshop at City Hall.
iii)    Downloads and use of toolkits and views of videos beyond the initial audience attending.
iv)    Media coverage and instigation of new cultural tourism partnerships. 

Equality comments

3.1    Punk London will be a fully inclusive programme for Londoners old and young to participate. The HLF funding is subject to the provision of events and activities targeted to young people and low income families and there is a number of free and local events through-out next year. 

3.2    The partner organisations including the Roundhouse in Camden are developing programmes of live music from young punk bands, poetry, film and panel discussions will be all priced very accessibly at £5 to ensure we engage a wide and diverse audience. They will also be allocating a number of tickets for our GetIn ticket scheme (their discount ticket programme for 16-25’s that offers tickets to selected gigs and shows for £5).

3.3    As part of the enhanced local London content on and, there will be integrated content for gay and disabled visitor information.  

3.4    As part of the guidelines and pool of new London cultural images we will consult with Attitude is Everything on how best to integrate, able and disabled bodied models with in photoshoots as well as ensuring a rich ethnic diversity is represented.  

Other considerations

4.1    The Culture team will undertake procurement procedures in line with the GLA requirements.
4.2    These cultural tourism projects will contribute to a range of mayoral agendas including: spreading the economic benefit of the visitor spent across the city, 2012 legacy, active travel, public realm, maintaining London’s position as a world capital of culture.

4.3    For next financial year Additional commercial sponsorship funding of up to £100,000 will be sought, in accordance with the GLA’s sponsorship process, to upscale the year-long Punk London cultural tourism activities. Receipt of any sponsorship funding will be subject to a separate approval in accordance the GLA’s normal approval process.

4.4    One key risk is that if commercial sponsorship is not forthcoming for the Punk London programme, it may have to be downscaled and more financial support maybe needed from the cultural partners. To offset this we are approaching a number of brands to partner Punk London and liaising with GLA and partner sponsorship teams to coordinate efforts.

4.5       A risk for the workshop is that we may need to find an alternative venue and partner for the workshop if Google do not confirm. To offset this risk we have appointed a consultant to develop the workshop logistics and programme and to review alternative venue and partner solutions.

4.6    An estimated project budget of the core funding is summarised below:





Project funding


GLA budget


Heritage Lottery Funding income


Total funding




Project costs


Cultural tourism campaigns


Cultural tourism images


Workshops + Toolkits


Local London content strategy work


Total costs



Financial comments

5.1    Approval is being sought for expenditure of up to £199,300 on various Cultural Tourism projects to be delivered in 2015/2016, and the receipt of external funding of up to £99,300 from Heritage Lottery Funding.

5.2    The net cost to the GLA will be up to £100,000. Expenditure over and above this is not to be committed prior to the confirmation and receipt of any external funding.   

5.3    The revenue cost of £100,000 will be funded from the 2015/16 Children’s Festival budget.

Investment and Performance Board

IPB approved this proposal in principle at their meeting of 10 December 2015. 

Planned delivery approach and next steps



Appointment of project managers for campaigns, workshops, image pool

December 2015

Announcement of Punk London cultural tourism campaign

December 2015

Punk London launch event

January 2016

Cultural tourism workshop 2

January 2016

Delivery of cultural tourism toolkits

February 2016 

Print and distribution of Punk London guides

February 2016 

Delivery of cultural tourism image pool and guidelines

March 2016

Delivery of additional campaigns

March 2016

Cultural tourism workshop 3

March 2016


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