MD2127 Night Time Economy and Music

Type of decision: 
Mayoral decision
Date signed: 
24 May 2017
Decision by: 
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London

Executive summary

Approval is sought to continue the Mayor’s night time economy programme, the London Music Board, Busk In London and the development of a flagship music campaign.

In London, the night time economy is recognised internationally, attracting tourists driving economic and cultural regeneration of town centres. It is worth £26bn per year and employs 1 in 8 Londoners. The Night Czar and the Chair of the Night Time Commission have been appointed to champion and develop London’s night time economy. This includes leading a partnership across London’s boroughs and business sectors, creating the first Vision for a 24 Hour London, devising policy and delivering ambitious programmes to realise that Vision. 

The music industry is valued at £4.1billion in the UK. The majority of organisations that make up the music industry are based in London. Music tourism alone contributes nearly £1 billion every year to the capital’s economy. However there are challenges at grassroots level that threaten to undermine it. The Mayor, the Night Czar and the London Music Board are implementing a number of initiatives to protect London’s music infrastructure, support musical talent in London’s schools and communities, champion London as the global music capital and unlock the potential of London’s music history and heritage. 


That the Mayor approves:

1. Expenditure of up to £166,000 to continue to deliver the Night Time Economy programme;

2. Entry into partnership and sponsorship agreements worth up to £55,000 for the delivery of the Night Time Economy programme;

3. Expenditure of up to £25,000 to run the London Music Board;

4. Grant funding of £151,000 to the Mayor’s Music Fund; and

5. Expenditure of up to £110,000 to continue to deliver Busk in London.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1 Night Time Economy and Culture

1.1.1     London’s night time economy (NTE) is worth £26 billion and supports 1.25 million jobs in the capital. There is potential to develop London’s NTE and support boroughs to develop their local offers. The introduction of the night tube at weekends has already started to shape a new night time offer for London.

1.1.2     The Mayor wants to ensure that London’s night time offer is developed in a way that is welcoming and respectful of Londoners and visitors - those who want  a great night out and those who want a good night’s sleep. To achieve this, he has appointed Amy Lamé as night Czar, to champion London as a 24 hour city and develop initiatives that help the capital’s night time offer grow in a safe and sustainable way. 

1.1.3     The Night Czar has announced initiatives to improve the safety of women at night, supplementary planning guidance on the night time economy and research into LGBT spaces and venues. A new programme of Night Surgeries enables the Night Czar to meet residents, businesses, customers and the authorities, learning first-hand of the issues and opportunities for London’s night time economy and culture.

1.1.4    The Mayor has also appointed Philip Kolvin QC as Chair of London’s Night Time Commission. The Commission will advise on future policies and programmes for the night time economy. He also chairs the Night Time Borough Champions Network, consisting of senior leaders from London’s boroughs. The network will inform policies and share best practice across the capital.

1.1.5     The Night Czar and Chair of the Night Time Commission will work with colleagues across the GLA to champion and support the night time economy, including planning, policing, transport, environment, health and regeneration. 

1.1.6.    This work has previously been approved through MD1610 (Creation of Night Time Commission), MD2023 (appointment of Night Czar) and MD2044 (appointment of Chair of Night Time Commission).

1.2.    London Music Board

1.2.1        The London Music Board (LMB) was set up in April 2016 to protect grassroots music venues and support London’s grassroots music scene. The LMB is an influential coalition of the music industry, music education sector, community music sector, local authorities, the GLA and tourism bodies. For the first time, these individual groups are working towards shared goals for the music industry. The priorities of the LMB are:

-    Young people and education
o    The Mayor supports this priority via: the Mayor’s Music Fund, London Curriculum, Music Excellence London, London Music Champions, Learn Music London and Busk In London
-    Talent and communities
o    The Mayor supports this priority via: Busk In London and the London Underground Busking Scheme and the GLA Events for London programme
-    Music venues and infrastructure
o    The Mayor supports this priority via: a project to map music venues, research on business rates, publications such as the Progress Report on London’s Grassroots Music Venues, Support from the GLA Culture At Risk officer and strategies such as the GLA Cultural Infrastructure Plan
-    Music tourism and London’s profile as a global music city:
o    The Mayor supports this priority via: the feasibility study into a city-wide music campaign for 2018 and through the Mayor’s Promotional Agency London & Partners

1.2.2.    DD2045 approved GLA funding of £75,000 to address the decline grassroots music venues. The London Music Board has: 

-    Published an Update to the Rescue Plan for Grassroots Music Venues, including an economic impact data on grassroots venues and a revised map of grassroots music venues (the number has remained stable for the first time in ten years);
-    Helped to secure the inclusions of the ‘Agent of Change’ principal into the government’s Housing and Planning Bill, Published Research into the effect of increased business rates for grassroots music venues;
-    Carried out casework on several at-risk venues to help them avoid closure;
-    Supported a feasibility study into a city-wide music campaign for 2018.

1.3    The Mayor’s Music Fund

1.3.1    Grant funding is proposed to support the work of the Mayor’s Music Fund - an independent charity set up helps young people from low income families to develop their musical talents. The Fund enables children to learn musical instruments to the highest level. Participation in funded activities also helps young Londoners develops skills for employment, gain confidence and access social networks and vital skills that will set them up for life.

1.3.2    The charity funds Mayor’s Music Scholarships and Inspirational Projects. The main delivery partners are the 32 borough Music Education Hubs, who work with schools, community music providers and professional musicians across London.

1.3.3    As set out in MD760 and the charity’s Articles of Association, the Mayor of London is the patron of the Mayor’s Music Fund and is able to nominate up to two trustees to the board of the charity. 

1.4    Busk in London

1.4.1    Further GLA funding and receipt of sponsorship income is proposed to continue the Busk in London project. Busk in London has previously been approved via MDs 1603, 1397 and 1501.

1.4.2    Busking and street performance provide vibrancy and animation to many of London’s   spaces. Research by Westminster University in 2016 found that 86% of tourists and 62% of residents were in favour of busking which was perceived to enhance visitor experience and make a cultural contribution to the capital.
1.4.3    Busk in London provides a Buskers’ Code, a one-stop-shop website for busking in London plus practical resources and advice to performers, boroughs, audiences and residents.
1.4.4    Busk in London provides talent and skill development for up and coming performers through its Academy programme. There are performance opportunities and training for young musicians through Gigs, the Mayor’s annual busking competition, and year round support, information, advice and job opportunities for the public, buskers and street performers.

1.4.5    Busk in London runs International Busking Day – a worldwide celebration of busking which reached over 100 locations across 6 continents in 2016.

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1         Night time economy and culture 

2.1.1    Approval is sought for  expenditure of £166,000  to :-

-    Recruit a consultant to deliver a programme of night time economy workshops, events.
-    Publish a Vision for London’s Night Time Economy and Culture.
Champion London’s night time economy through press, media and speaking engagements at key stakeholder events
-    Set up and manage a Night Time Commission to develop policy and programme recommendations for the Mayor.
-    Continue to run a Borough Night Time Champions network to support the delivery of the night time economy programme.
-    The Culture & Creative Industries Unit are seeking £55,000 in sponsorship to contribute to the Night  time economy programme activities, but in the event this sponsorship is not secured there is still sufficient budget allocated to deliver the programme activities as planned.

2.2    The GLA investment will support:

-    City Hall  working  in partnership with local authorities, night time industries, the culture sector, police, transport agencies and other key stakeholders. These partners are represented in all policy development and implementation of the 24-hour London programme.
-    Good practice in the development and diversification of the night time economy is contributed to and shared widely between London’s key stakeholders 
-    Challenges around the balance between residential and late night uses have been properly addressed through the Vision and Roadmap.
-    Establish London as one of the world’s leading 24-hour cities. 

2.3    London Music Board (LMB) objectives and outcomes 

2.3.1     Approval is sought for expenditure of up to £25,000 to:-

-    Recruit a consultant to project manage the LMB, providing specialist industry advice, convening industry and government, providing strategic advice on the delivery of the Mayor’s music programmes and carrying out or commissioning research as required by the LMB.
-    Review the membership and terms of reference of the London Music Board to ensure that it represents London’s social and musical diversity. 
-    Develop initiatives and provide support and advice to advance the London Music Board’s priorities:
-    Champion diversity at all levels of London’s music sector and keep abreast of issues that will affect London’s music sector and develop responses.

2.4    The GLA investment will:-

-    Increase partnership working between the music industry, GLA and local authorities.
-    Support initiatives to reduce unnecessary regulation and reduce the impact of business rates rises of grassroots music venues and maintain a map of London's grassroots music venues and music spaces.
-    Support Busk In London 
-    Support the improvement of music education provision across London and partnership between the music industry and education providers.
-    Support the development of a flagship music campaign for London in 2018

2.5    Mayor’s Music Fund outcomes

2.5.1    Approval is sought to grant £151,000 to the charity, the Mayor’s Music Fund (MMF).This funding   will:

-    Provide a four-year music scholarship to one young musician in every London borough
-    Enable the charity to leverage around £600,000 funding and benefit thousands of young Londoners

2.6    Busk in London objectives and outcomes 

2.6.1    Approval is sought for expenditure of up to a maximum of £110,000 to deliver year three of the four-year Busk in London delivery plan. The consultant, Found In Music, appointed following competitive tendering via the Official Journal European Union (OJEU) in 2015, will continue to deliver the project as per the terms of their three-year contract. The Busk In London project was previously approved on MD1397 and subsequently MD1603.

2.6.2    The objectives of Busk in London include:
•    Mapping London’s network of formal and informal busking pitches
•    The Buskers’ Code is widely used by buskers and those who manage public spaces
•    Deliver International Busking Day in 50 worldwide locations
•    Deliver a youth busking competition showcasing over 150 young performers
•    Support, advice and job opportunities provided to 2,000 performers per year
•    Up to 10 private organisations or landowners pay for the services of Busk in London
•    £250,000 income leveraged from LA’s, BIDs, private companies and sponsors

2.6.3    The GLA investment will help ensure:-:    
•    More public spaces are animated with performances, increasing London’s attractiveness as a tourist, retail and leisure destination.
•    Busking policy across London is simpler and more consistent.
•    London is perceived as a busker friendly city, attracting new and exciting talent.
•    Busk in London supported buskers to develop their careers.
•    Public perception of busking is improved.



Events and publications


Project Management and administration


Research and development


Utilisation of sponsorship income (if raised)


Total Night Time Economy





London Music Board project management


London Music Board research


Mayor’s Music Fund grant


Busk In London


Total music projects




Equality comments

3.1    Under Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010, 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.

3.2    The GLA contribution to the activities as set out in this report will enable the continued creation of employment opportunities for Londoners, creating both positive social and economic impact in the capital. The GLA funding of these projects will also foster community cohesion and improve the wellbeing of Londoners through a continued and substantial cultural offering.

3.3     All the programme activities set out in this report will be accessible to all. Regarding London Music Month the events delivered will be accessible and consideration to accessibility will be given at the planning stage of London Music Month. Busk in London will also be open to individuals and equal opportunity will be given with regards to performers.

3.4    The Night Time Commission is specifically addressing how the safety of women attending night time activities or working at night can be improved. The Night Time Commission will continue to work closely with the Queer Venues Network.

3.5    Accessibility consultants Attitude is Everything are a member of the London Music Board and will continue to work closely with the Night Czar and Night Time Commission to ensure that disabled workers and consumers are considered in the development of policy and strategy.

Other considerations

4.1    The programme activities detailed in this report link to Key Mayoral priorities including:

•    Introducing an ‘Agent of Change’ rule by working collaboratively with key stakeholders to implement an effective strategy regarding protecting London’s music venues.
•    Producing a Cultural Infrastructure Plan for 2030 to identify what we need in order to sustain London’s future as a cultural capital.
•    Continuing to support new and existing major cultural festivals.
•    Build on London’s vital tourist industry by promoting the city’s cultural riches to Londoners, the rest of Britain and the world, taking forward the work of London and Partners in this area.
•    Protecting London’s international status, by highlighting investment opportunities within the night time economy. 

Financial comments

5.1       This decision seeks to approve expenditure of up to £166,000 on the Mayor’s Night Time Economy programme and of up to £286,000 on music projects. The expenditure will be met from the Culture and Creative Industries budget for 2017-18.

5.2       The GLA will seek income of £55,000 via sponsorship for the Night Time Economy programme. At present no contractual commitment has been entered into for the sponsorship. In the event that sponsorship cannot be obtained, or can only be obtained in part, then the Culture and Creative Industries budget for 2017-18 will meet the shortfall arising.


Planned delivery approach and next steps



Procure specialist music industry consultant to support delivery of London Music Board

Summer 2017

Procure events and project management consultant to deliver Night Time Economy events programme

Summer 2017

Confirm extension of Busk In London consultancy contract for one year

Summer 2017

Launch of young buskers’ competition

May 2017

Night Time Commission appointed

May 2017

Mayor attends Mayor’s Music Fund fundraising lunch

15 May 2017

London Music Board meetings x 6

June 2017 – March 2018

Night Time Commission meetings x 6

June 2017- April 2018

Borough Night Time Economy Champions meeting x 4

June 2017-March 2018

Night Surgeries x 6

June 2017-March 2018

Night Time Economy events / workshops / conference

June 2017 – March 2018

Grant funding agreement with Mayor’s Music Fund signed

Summer 2017

Vision for the Night Time Economy published

Summer 2017

Women’s Safety at Night Summit

Summer 2017

International Busking Day 2017

22 July 2017