DD2291 London Borough of Newham’s Community Firework Display

Type of decision: 
Director's decision
Date signed: 
24 October 2018
Decision by: 
David Lunts, Executive Director Housing and Land and Interim CEO of OPDC

Executive summary

MD2338 approved expenditure of up to £212.5m for the Royal Docks Enterprise Zone (EZ) Delivery Plan to deliver an integrated and catalytic package of projects that are identified under the five strategic objectives of Place, Connectivity, Economy, Activation and Promotion.

This Director’s Decision (DD) provides more detail for a project under the Activation strategic objective of the Delivery Plan and requests approval to support the London Borough of Newham’s Community Firework Display. Taking place in the Royal Docks in Silvertown Quays, this event will attract up to 20,000 people to the area.


That the Executive Director of Housing and Land approves:

Up to £75,000 of revenue expenditure from the Royal Docks EZ approved budget for local community activation and support as a contribution to the London Borough of Newham towards the cost of delivering the Community Firework Display on Saturday 3 November 2018.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

MD2338 approved expenditure of up to £212.5m for the Royal Docks Enterprise Zone (EZ) Delivery Plan to deliver an integrated and catalytic package of transport infrastructure, connectivity, economic development, placemaking, estate management and creative programming projects that will deliver the cohesive transformation of the Royal Docks and accelerate the delivery of EZ commercial space. This consists of a £155m capital and £57.5m revenue split to fund projects for the five-year delivery period from 2018/19 to 2022/23.

The next five years are critical in the remaining 20-years of the Royal Docks Enterprise Zone, and it is important that there is a visible change to developers, investors, businesses and visitors to the area. The key development partners in the Royal Docks have identified the activation of their sites and the surrounding area as one of the highest priority actions required to catalyse investment and occupation.

Working with the London Borough of Newham (LBN), we have identified a significant opportunity to support the relocation of the borough’s Community Firework Display from the North of the borough, where it has been located for several years, to Silvertown Quays in the Royal Docks.

This opportunity will help address the area’s limited cultural and leisure offer by placing creative activation at the centre of the Royal Docks. It will support the long-term objective of developing a programme of activation that will promote the cultural and economic significance of the docks on a local, regional and international level.

The event will draw on the extraordinary architecture of Millennium Mills and the historic splendour of the Royal Docks to provide the backdrop to the firework display whilst also marking the 30th anniversary of Jean Michel Jarre’s Destination Docklands event which took place in the Royal Victoria Dock in October 1988.

Up to 20,000 people are expected to attend the event making it one of the largest events to be held in the Royal Docks in 2018.

The event will also be used as case study by the Royal Docks Team to explore how the new event site in Silvertown Quays could be used to accommodate large events in the future including crowd control, management and use of transport infrastructure, licensing etc.

The funding contribution made by the GLA will enable the LBN to relocate the Community Firework Display to the Royal Docks, use Millennium Mills as the fireworks firing position and enhance the event offer.

We will provide the funding via grant funding and work closely with LBN to ensure successful delivery of the event. Clear milestones and timescales will be set within the funding agreement and only when those milestones are met, the funding will be released. These milestones ensure the safety of GLA funding and cover any risk involved in supporting the event.

In addition to the GLA funding, LBN has obtained sponsorship from several local key stakeholders in the Royal Docks which would not have been possible without the relocation of the event.

To successfully achieve the Activation strategic objective, it is imperative that the Royal Docks Team works in collaboration with local stakeholders and partners. This project clearly demonstrates the benefits of working with local stakeholders (local authority, sponsors etc) on new opportunities to maximise on a number of shared objectives including broadening interest in the area and increasing the visitor footfall.

Objectives and expected outcomes

This project supports the overall objectives of the Activation Programme within the five-year delivery plan by:

• Increasing visitor and local footfall;
• Positioning the Royal Docks on the world stage as a distinct location for unique events;
• Maximising cultural programming opportunities and impact through local partnerships;
• Engaging local communities in their changing place via the cultural programme.

Visitor attendance at events stimulates and impacts the local economy through additional spending. As a direct consequence of this event there will be an increased footfall in the local area which will result in visitor spend in local shops, restaurants and hotels.

The additional benefits of supporting the relocation of the event whilst difficult to measure are:

• Raising the profile of the Royal Docks to support the wider regeneration and development efforts of key partners and stakeholders;
• Increase investor, occupier and visitor interest in the Royal Docks and help accelerate early business rate income;
• Education and increased awareness of other communities in London encouraging social integration and cohesion;
• Increased sense of community through social interaction at events;
• Encouraging a sense of pride in local communities for the area in which they live;
• Enjoyment and satisfaction to support the well-being of Londoners and local communities and improving their health and wellbeing and quality of life. In particular where Londoners and local communities’ disposable income is limited, and free events offer access to arts and entertainment which they may otherwise not be able to experience.

Equality comments

Under Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010, as a public authority, the GLA must have ‘due regard’ of the need to:

• eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation; and
• advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between people who have a protected characteristic and those who do not.

The Royal Docks EZ Delivery Plan projects are aimed at implementing a number of the Mayor’s policies such as the London Plan, A City for All Londoners, Healthy Streets Approach, draft Culture Strategy, London Housing Strategy, Transport Strategy and is aligned with the Mayor’s Equalities Framework to consider the requirements of relevant equalities groups.

Impact assessments will determine whether any persons with those characteristics will be unduly impacted by the activities described in this DD, and the course of action in order to mitigate any impacts.

The Community Firework Display is planned to be inclusive and aimed at all Londoners, culturally and socially. The event is not ticketed which means that it is free for all to enter. There will also be blue badge parking available for any attendees who have access requirements and need to use a car rather than public transport. The site is accessible by wheelchairs and does not include any steps.

Other considerations

In line with the other strategic objectives set out in the Royal Docks EZ Delivery Plan (Place, Connectivity, Economy and Promotion) Activation projects will be integral in accelerating and maximising the regeneration of the EZ and wider Royal Docks Opportunity Area.

Links to Mayoral strategies and priorities include:

• Developing world-class events in line with the Mayor’s Cultural Strategy – to assist in the development of a ‘stimulating, creative and cultural London’.
• Developing ‘a programme of activities/events to engage with London’s diverse communities to help deliver the Mayor’s priorities, strategies and policies, as well as celebrate London’s rich diversity’.
• Promoting sustained economic growth and competitiveness of London as a World City through tourism, economic development and positive media coverage.

Financial comments

This decision requests approval for revenue expenditure of up to £75,000 as a contribution to the cost of delivering the Community Firework Display on Saturday 3 November 2018 with London Borough of Newham (LBN). The GLA will be funding approximately 50% of the cost of the display.

This expenditure will be funded from expenditure confirmed in MD2338. (Activation allocation).

Activity table



DD Approved

Oct 2018

Planning of project

Oct 2018

Delivery of Community Firework Display

3 Nov 2018


Dec 2018

Delivery Start date

Oct 2018

Delivery End date

Dec 2018

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