MD2604 London & Partners Business Plan 2020-2

Type of decision: 
Mayoral decision
Date signed: 
18 March 2020
Decision by: 
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London

Executive summary

London & Partners Limited (L&P) is the international, trade, investment and promotion agency for London. Their role is to promote London internationally as a leading world city in which to visit, study, invest, grow and meet.

Under cover of MD2264 the Mayor approved the award of funding to L&P of up to £39,927,000 over three years subject to approval of each of their annual business plans. This MD seeks the Mayor’s approvals of L&P’s business plan for 2020-21 (the third and final year covered by its funding agreement with the GLA) triggering the availability of up to £13,136,000 in 2020-21.

In line with their 2018-21 strategy, L&P will work to deliver jobs and growth in London by attracting and retaining investment, students and visitors. Key elements of their 2020-21 business plan include:

• continuing to deliver good growth that supports the Mayor’s vision and benefits Londoners;
• retaining proactive work in five key markets abroad;
• maximising L&P’s business audiences across foreign direct investment, trade & growth, business tourism and major events;
• maximising L&P’s focus on the financial, business services and tech, innovation & life science, creative tech, urban and tourism sectors;
• enhancing the focus of marketing in L&P’s delivery model.


That the Mayor approves London & Partners Limited’s proposed business plan for 2020-21, and confirmation of the availability of up to £13,136,000 in 2020-21.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background
  1. In line with L&P’s three-year strategy (2018-2021) agreed by the Mayor under cover of Mayoral Decision 2264, L&P has produced a business plan for 2020-21 which will work to deliver jobs and growth in London by attracting (and retaining) investment, students and visitors. Following review by GLA officers, and sign-off by L&P’s board, it is proposed for approval by the Mayor. Subject to approval, it is proposed that GLA confirms the availability to L&P of funding of up to a maximum value of £13,136,000 in respect of year 2020-2021.
  3. L&P is funded by a combination of sources including a grant from the GLA, other grants, fees from their commercial partners, value in kind and income from their commercial activities.
  5. Including the current year (2020-21), the Mayor has provided almost £115m from the GLA budget to L&P since 2011.

Payments to L&P           Total:

2011-12                             £15,825,000

2012-13                             £13,166,000

2013-14                             £11,380,000

2014-15                             £11,809,000

2015-16                             £11,825,000

2016-17                             £11,490,000

2017-18                             £12,252,000

2018-19                             £13,655,000

2019-20                             £13,456,000


  • L&P receives its grant subject to their annual business plan being approved by the GLA. Its performance against key performance indicators (KPIs) is monitored by the GLA on a quarterly basis, and its work is scrutinised by the L&P Board in quarterly Board meetings. The Chair is appointed by the Mayor, with GLA officers attending as observers.
  • L&P funds those activities where there is a clear economic case for public intervention. Wherever possible, this is measured in terms of additional Gross Value Added (GVA) to the London economy. So far, since its inception in 2011, L&P has:
  • added £2.2 billion GVA to London’s economy;
  • inspired 142 million people through;
  • reached 9.1 million international students;
  • attracted 2,554 events;
  • created or supported 66,200 jobs;
  • generated 66,700 pieces of international media coverage;
  • supported 2,115 overseas companies to set up or expand in London;
  • leveraged additional funding for promoting London – non-GLA funds now account for almost half of London & Partners activity compared to around a quarter when London & Partners was established; and
  • been ranked in the Sunday Times Best 100 not-for-profit companies to work for each of the last five years.
Objectives and expected outcomes

L&P has produced a business plan for 2020/21 (Annex 1) which will deliver jobs and growth in London by attracting (and retaining) investment, students and visitors. L&P’s mission statement and objectives are:

  • London & Partners (L&P) is the Mayor of London’s official promotional agency;
  • L&P exists to support the Mayor’s priorities by promoting London internationally as a leading world city in which to invest, work, study and visit; and
  • L&P’s work helps achieve ‘good growth’ for London and Londoners, as outlined in the Mayor’s economic development strategy.


​​​​​​​L&P does this by focusing on:

  • building London’s international reputation;
  • attracting international audiences and convincing them to choose London;
  • guiding international audiences to make the most of all that London has to offer; and
  • helping to retain and grow London’s businesses.


​​​​​​​L&P tells London’s story to an international audience and they do this in partnership with organisations and people who have a stake in London’s international promotion.


L&P’s 2020-21 business plan


  • L&P’s 2020-21 business plan is the third year of their 2018-2021 strategic cycle. L&P are focused on maximising their performance in the year ahead, building on their strong track record of delivery as well as the additional resource and time it has dedicated to establishing the right global footprint, sectoral focus and organisational structure.
  • Annex 1 explains how L&P will put the strategy into action in 2020-21 and highlights priorities for the coming year. In parallel to delivering this plan L&P have also started working on refreshing their corporate strategy.
  • The key elements of L&P’s 2020-21 business plan include:
  • continuing to deliver good growth that supports the Mayor’s vision and benefits Londoners;
  • retaining proactive work in five key markets abroad;
  • maximising L&P’s business audiences across foreign direct investment (FDI), trade & growth, business tourism and major events;
  • maximising L&P’s focus on the financial, business services and tech, innovation & life science, creative tech, urban and tourism sectors; and
  • enhancing the focus of marketing in L&P’s delivery model.


  1. L&P also set out in the business plan how they intend to approach the post-Brexit environment including increasing partnerships with key London businesses and groups to amplify London’s voice in the coming year and maintaining positive sentiment about the capital in Europe and across global markets, showing that London remains an open, welcoming and progressive city of opportunity outside of the EU, as well as inside of it.
  3. Phases one and two of L&P’s three-year strategy included developing a wider global footprint to expand their reach in important and growing non-EU markets and within the EU. In this year L&P anticipate continued returns on these investments providing a diversified investor base for London. This presence on the ground provides invaluable direct access to eco-systems and intelligence.
  5. L&P will continue to have a proactive approach in Europe. Europe is an important market for all of L&P’s sectors. L&P now have on-the-ground teams in France and Germany to innovate and to provide intelligence and will roll out market-specific FDI programmes to address the needs of potential investors. They will put in place in-market media support and create in-market partnerships.



​​​​​​​​​​​​​​A summary of L&P’s KPIs and targets are set out below:


London & Partners Mission – Good Growth for London

What L&P Do



Target 2020-21

Engaging target audiences

L&P measure engagement by targeting audiences with their content. An ‘engagement’ is different for each channel, e.g., a share on social media, watching a video, comments, clicks.

Number of engagements with London marketing activity content. Audiences include international students, investors and leisure tourists as well as domestic tourists.

Content about London’s broader offer, brand and values including broadcast of major events.

63 million engagements

Improving London’s global reputation

L&P measure improved perceptions of London, by comparing their targeted audience against a control group. They measure perceptions of a defined set of key messages about London.

Improvement vs control for content about specific London products or campaigns or London’s broader offer, brand and values.


Convincing audiences to choose London and supporting businesses to grow in London

L&P measure the additional economic benefit of their interventions in London’s economy.

Direct GVA from business growth (Foreign Direct Investment, Trade, Growth, Business Tourism and Major Events). Indirect GVA from international student engagement

Business GVA: £185 million






Student GVA: £36 million

Working in partnership

L&P measure the resources they attract from the London business community, their commercial activity and other sources.

Proportion of L&P activity that is not funded by the Greater London Authority.



​​​​​​​​​​​​​​An explanation of L&P’s methodological approach is given in their business plan in Annex 1.

Equality comments

Under Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010, as a public authority, 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. This duty applies to the decisions that are the subject of this Form.

Much of L&P’s trade and investment services are focused on supporting SMEs to set up, expand or internationalise. L&P have integrated diversity and inclusion modules into their ERDF-funded Business Growth Programme to support London-based SMEs. Their Mayor’s International Business Programme focuses on under-represented groups including missions made up of female founders.

L&P have proactively promoted the Mayor’s Good Work Standard to existing international businesses as well as running workshops with the GLA on the programme for businesses on the Business Growth Programme and Mayor’s International Business Programme. The Good Work Standard is awarded to employers who can demonstrate best employment practice across a range of areas including, offering diversity and inclusion training for everyone in their workforce, addressing the gender pay gap and putting in place a zero-tolerance approach to all forms of discrimination.

The proposed 2020-21 business plan continues and seeks to strengthen this approach. For example, L&P will continue to maintain the strong gender and BAME balance in their trade and growth schemes, and internally through the work of their Diversity and inclusion Council.

Officers have considered the likely impact of this proposed decision on groups with protected characteristics and for the reasons outlined above have concluded that there are no adverse impacts and impacts are likely to be positive.

Other considerations

Links to Mayoral priorities

The business plan fully aligns with the full suite of Mayoral strategies including the Economic Development Strategy (EDS). Policy teams across City Hall attended a consultation session with L&P and have been given the opportunity to comment on thF business plan and provided input where relevant. The EDS recognises the importance of promoting London internationally, to maintain London’s global competitiveness, and to help drive the city’s economy. The sectors that L&P will focus on are aligned with those in the EDS, as is the focus on good growth.

Key risks and issues

Brexit continues to affect L&P’s business lines including FDI, students and tourism (including business tourism). L&P set in motion a strategic response to Brexit, as outlined in their 2019-20 business plan, which included opening offices in France and Germany, changing their approach to inward investment and a city-to-city partnership approach to their marketing. Section 2.7 to 2.9 explains how L&P are approaching the post-Brexit environment.

No one involved in the drafting or clearance of this decision has any conflicts of interest to declare.

Financial comments

The proposed GLA grant of £13.136m to London & Partners has been included within the GLA budget and spending plans for 2020-21. This grant forms part of London & Partners’ three-year strategy previously approved via MD2264, with this specific budget provision held within the GLA’s Regeneration and Economic Development Unit.

In line with previous arrangements, payments will be made on a quarterly basis subject to satisfactory monitoring of performance against the deliverables approved as part of the 2020-21 business plan. This requirement as well as the standard break clauses will be incorporated into the funding agreement to ensure that performance and risk is managed effectively during the duration of the grant agreement.

Activity table




March 2020

Business plan start date

Q1 2020

Business plan end date

Q4 2021

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