London

Mayor's new agency to help promote London

A new London agency to promote tourism, investment and help international students is to be created.

London Mayor Boris Johnson said the new organisation, provisionally called Promote London, would bring together the work of Visit London, Think London and Study London.

The £14m-a-year agency will take over from the three in April 2011.

That is when their contracts with the London Development Agency (LDA) end, which is itself to close in 2012.

The LDA - the mayor's business arm - is shut down as a result of the government's spending review.

The mayor said Promote London "will enable the Mayor to take a more co-ordinated and strategic approach to international promotion" in the run up to and during then 2012 London Olympic Games.

Vital role

Mr Johnson said: "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."

Dame Judith Mayhew Jonas is the interim chair of Promote London and Danny Lopez, currently a group director at the LDA, is the interim chief executive.

The LDA was created to champion projects run by London's mayor, councils, businesses and charities.

It was one of nine regional bodies set up in England by the last government to try to develop local businesses.

The coalition's first Budget in June ruled the LDA and the other eight such regional agencies would be scrapped and replaced by Local Enterprise Partnerships.

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