ADD334 Research into the nature of employment in London

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Date signed: 
03 August 2015
Decision by: 
Andrew Collinge, Assistant Director of Intelligence

Executive summary

GLA Economics is undertaking a full renewal of the Economic Evidence Base, which will be used to help inform strategy development within the GLA Group. The Economic Evidence Base aims to provide a full overview of our understanding on London’s economy. This Decision relates specifically to the procurement of external research on understanding how industries in London have changed over time and will cover areas such as how certain sectors have developed or declined within London and outside. This research will use datasets which are not freely publicly available and will require analysis from an organisation that can access suitable data.



The Assistant Director of the Intelligence Unit approves expenditure of up to the value of £50,000 to procure external research into the changing spatial nature of business and employment in London.


Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1    GLA Economics are in the process of renewing the Economic Evidence Base, which when last published in 2010, was used to provide an evidence base to support the Mayor’s Economic Development Strategy, the London Plan, and the Transport Strategy. This new Evidence Base will again provide an overview of the forces impacting on London’s economy, as well as providing a holistic overview of London’s economy in the context of the Greater South East, the UK and the global economy. This will therefore continue to inform strategy development across the GLA Group into the future.

1.2     The Evidence Base is being updated to reflect the changes in London’s, the UK’s and the global economy over the past five years; developing our understanding of London’s place in the global economy, and providing an outlook on London’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as opportunities and threats which London’s economy may face in the future.

1.3     Specifically, one chapter of the Evidence Base will look at the spatial context of London’s economy; providing an overview of how London’s economy has changed over time, the concentration of business activity, such as within the Central Activities Zone and the Isle of Dogs, the connections between different parts of London (inner/outer London and specific boroughs), how London connects with the Greater South East, and issues relating to capacity in London (primarily of the transport networks and housing). Within this chapter, there will be analysis of how economic activity in different sectors has changed over time, and it this which is the specific focus of research which GLA Economics is looking to commission.

1.4     Analysis in this area can be made through examination of business databases over time, data which are not freely publicly available, therefore GLA Economics is seeking to procure the services of a suitably qualified organisation to analyse such data. This will provide insight into how business activity in London, and the capital’s linkages with the Greater South East and beyond have changed over time.  A full list of research questions for the project are outlined with Section 2 of Appendix A which supports this Decision.

1.5    This Decision requests expenditure of up to £50,000 for the procurement of a suitably qualified organisation to undertake this research. This estimate has been based on the expected scale of work required, as well as tools used by GLA Economics when providing advice towards estimating evaluation costs; which incorporates estimation of the number of days of consultancy service required, as well as expected day rates drawn from organisations that are currently part of the GLA Economics, Research and Evaluation Framework (GLA 80405).

1.6    As per GLA Economics guidance towards the development of evaluation specifications, the total budget available for the research has not been posted within the Invitation to Tender, so as to protect the GLA’s commercial position and to ensure maximum value for money, as publication of the budget may affect the pricing from the respondents to the Tender.


Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1    The research questions of this project are outlined within Section 2 of the Appendix A supporting this Decision. The specific objectives of this research are to enable the team to have a greater understanding of how businesses and industry sectors in London have developed over time, whether there is evidence of specialisation and concentration of particular industry groups in certain areas of London, and to understand the scale of linkages between London, the Greater South East, and the rest of the UK economy. This will enable the team, as well as policy and project staff to understand the potential strengths, weaknesses, opportunities or threats in particular geographic areas, or for policy intervention in certain industries.


Equality comments

3.1     The GLA’s equality duty guidance has been consulted as part of the preparation of this Decision, however there are not perceived to be any potential impacts, positive or negative on those with protected characteristics.


Other considerations

4.1     This research will feed directly into the development of the Economic Evidence Base, which will inform future strategy development within the GLA Group.

4.2    The main risk relating to this procurement would be that a suitably qualified organisation would not submit a tender for the research, which will limit the extent of the analysis which can be undertaken on the specific chapter within the Evidence Base on the spatial nature of London’s economy. The risk will attempt to be mitigated through ensuring as many potential organisations with specific expertise in analysing business demography datasets, as well as organisations within the GLA Economics, Research and Evaluation Framework with specialism in this type of analysis being invited to tender for this research.


Financial comments

5.1    The estimated cost of this research project is £50,000 and will be funded from the 2015-16 GLA Economics Budget held within the Intelligence Unit. Any changes to this proposal, including budgetary implications will be subject to further approval via the Authority’s decision-making process. All appropriate budget adjustments will be made. 

5.2    The Intelligence Unit within the Communities & Intelligence Directorate will be responsible for managing this research project and for ensuring that all expenditure complies with the Authority’s Financial Regulations, Contracts & Funding Code and Expenses & Benefits Framework.


Planned delivery approach and next steps

6.1    The management of the procurement and the subsequent research project are to be carried out by Brian Smith within GLA Economics. TfL have been informed of the upcoming procurement, and it is proposed to be tendered as a Request for Quotes procurement exercise. Invited organisations will include those with specific expertise in this field.

6.2    It is not proposed to use the GLA Economics, Research and Evaluation Framework directly for this procurement. GLA Economics have undertaken an assessment of the most robust approaches which could be used for this research project which will likely require the use of business datasets which are not freely publicly available, and will have been purchased by specialist organisations who are not part of this Framework.

6.3    The following table outlines the key deliverables for this research (as outlined within Section 5 of the Invitation to Tender, within Appendix A):


Target Completion

Invitation to Tender posted

7th August 2015

Deadline for submissions

28th August 2015

Review of received bids and invitation to clarification meeting (if necessary)

6th September 2015

Appointment of successful supplier

13th September 2015

Inception meeting with project steering group

Week commencing 16th September 2015

First draft of report to be sent to the GLA

30th October 2015

Review of draft and steering group meeting

13th November 2015

Second draft of report sent to the GLA

27th November 2015

Report completion and presentation to internal stakeholders

11th December 2015


6.4    This research will be completed within the 2015/16 financial year, with budget allocated from the GLA Economics budget.

6.5    This research will feed into the development of the Economic Evidence Base, which is to be produced throughout the course of the 2015/16 financial year. It is currently planned that Evidence Base consultations will be completed in March 2016 with a first draft intended to be available for review in April 2016. The team will prepare for additional iterations to be developed over the following months with the publication of the Final Version of the Evidence Base is expected to be in Autumn 2016

6.6    The specific research work being procured though will only form a part of this evidence base, and will not be the whole piece.

Appendices and supporting papers

Appendix 1: Invitation to Tender: “The changing spatial nature of business and employment in London” – DRAFT (attached to signed decision form)