London sets up new agency to promote capital for 2012 Olympics
Monday, 27 December 2010
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December 27 - Details of a four-year funding deal for a new promotion agency for London, which will bring together the work of the existing agencies for tourism, inward investment, and international students and aims to champion the capital as one of the world's best big cities in the build-up to the Olympics and Paralympics in 2012, have been announced.
Think London, Visit London and Study London will be brought together under the new umbrella agency from April 2011, the capital's Mayor Boris Johnson has announced.
He claims that single agency will enable him to take a more coordinated and strategic approach to international promotion.
Its working title is Promote London, and it will lead on promoting the capital in the run up to and during the 2012 Games.
Dame Judith Mayhew Jonas, the chairman of the New West End Company representing retailers and property owners in London's West End, and former chairman of the Royal Opera House, has been appointed interim chair.
She will work with Danny Lopez, currently a group director at the London Development Agency, who will act as the interim chief executive to manage the transition from the existing three agencies into one.
"This new agency will play a vital role in ensuring that we can continue to foster London's reputation across the globe as a fantastic place to live, work, study and visit," said Johnson.
"Its creation is the fruit of detailed negotiations with central Government, which are nearing their conclusion, and shows that another key element of my vision for London has been secured.
"I'm pleased the Government has recognised the importance of fuelling London's economic development which will, in turn, keep the motor of the UK economy going.
"With the London 2012 Games around the corner, it has never been more important for us to show the world exactly what our city has to offer."
Mayhew Jonas said claimed that the new group will seek to involve as many organisations in London as possible and it will also work closely with VisitBritain and UK Trade & Investment (UKTI).
"I am delighted to play my part in this important transition," she said.
"While promoting tourism, inward investment and higher education will remain absolutely core to the new agency, it will also promote the whole of the capital and its many other myriad and wonderful parts in new and exciting ways.
"We will work to bring on board many of the existing commercial partners of Think and Visit and establish new relations with other parts of London's economy to promote them to our global audience."
Lopez claimed that the organisation will ensure London maximises the potential benefits of hosting the Olympics and Paralympics.
"This is a fantastic time for anyone involved in promoting London," he said.
"The long run up to 2012 has already begun and the eyes of the world will increasingly focus on London as we approach the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
"I am working with brilliant people at the existing agencies, which have been incredibly patient while waiting for funding to be confirmed.
"They know that London is the most extraordinary brand to promote and we now have a chance to do so in a coherent, joined-up way that will be the envy of all our global competitors."
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November 2010: London eyes Olympic benefits as Canada ranked number one country brand
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