MD1567 To approve the funding for Big Dance 2016

Type of decision: 
Mayoral decision
Date signed: 
18 November 2015
Decision by: 
Boris Johnson MP (past staff), Mayor of London

Executive summary

Approval is required for an allocation of £178,000 for the delivery of Big Dance 2016 from the Culture 2016/17 budget to be released.

The Big Dance festival 2014 delivery and 2016 planning is covered by MD1316 which covers Cultural Strategy Projects for the period: 2014/15 - £178,000, 2015/16 - £68,000.
The indicative budget for Big Dance 2014 & delivery of Big Dance 2016 was presented within the 3-year Culture budget on 16 January 2014 to IPB and this included an allocation of £178,000 for 2016/17. 

Big Dance 2016 festival planning is well underway on the basis of the 3-year indicative budget. There is an imminent requirement to procure services in November 2015 in order to successfully deliver the programme in summer 2016. Discussions with the BBC are underway and Channel 4 have commissioned a third series of the Big Dance Shorts film programme for online and broadcast.


That the Mayor approves:

•    expenditure of up to £178,000 for the delivery of Big Dance 2016 from the 2016-17 Culture budget.
•    the seeking of external funding in the form of grant and / or sponsorship income and the associated expenditure up to the value of £150,000 in order to enhance the delivery of the Big Dance Programme in 2016-17. 

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.    Introduction and background

1.1    Big Dance is a biennial programme celebrating dance and dancing. It was a major Olympic legacy project with support from the Legacy Trust UK from 2009-2012 and through its partnership with People Dancing – the national partner formerly known as the Foundation for Community Dance. 

1.2    Big Dance in London underpins a UK-wide and international schools and community programme with the Big Dance Pledge (a partnership with the British Council) and artistic commission on Trafalgar Square as global events.

1.3    Key to the delivery of the capital-wide programme is the GLA’s partnership with the consortium of the five Big Dance Hubs which provide the glue across the 33 London boroughs and contributes to the public engagement programme for 500,000 Londoners.

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.    Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1    Big Dance makes a strong contribution to the Mayor’s culture, health, social policy, equalities, volunteering and sports agendas and is an exemplar programme which has been developed over a decade. Big Dance will be the final festival and delivered in partnership with People Dancing –will have reached almost 12million people. 

i)    To produce and deliver the final Big Dance festival in 2016

ii)    To support the five Big Dance Hubs and their outreach programmes across 33 boroughs: East London Dance, Greenwich Dance, English National Ballet, Sadler’s Wells and Siobhan Davies Dance; 

iii)    To produce the festival week 2-10 July 2016, the Big Dance Pledge – the schools and communities programme, the Big Dance Bus Tour, the Big Dance Shorts and the Big Dance 2016 commission for Trafalgar Square on 2 Jul 2016 by Akram Khan;

iv)    100 volunteering opportunities;

v)    Engagement with 500,000 Londoners of all ages in a capital-wide cultural participation programme

Equality comments

3.    Equality comments

3.1    Big Dance as a programme is fully inclusive and offers engagement for Londoners of all ages, cultures and abilities. The GLA works with a number of agencies to ensure all strands of the programme offer equal access. The Website and print material will adhere to the appropriate guidelines.

Other considerations

4.    Other considerations

Key risk:

4.1    A delay in the release of this funding allocation has the potential to damage the GLA’s reputation as all partnerships and artistic relationships have been secured. The planning is well under-way for the festival programme and artistic commissions and it is now critical the paperwork is completed to avoid reputational damage to the GLA. Discussions with the BBC are underway and Channel 4 have commissioned a third series of Big Dance Shorts for online and broadcast. Contracts and funding agreements now need to be produced in order the project delivery can begin as there is less than one year to go. Funding applications are in train and so funds received require authority to be released. The Culture team will undertake procurement procedures in line with the GLA requirements.

Mindful of instances in previous years where difficulties have arisen in respect of licensing of events, in particular where it is intended children are to participate officers will liaise closely with all relevant authorities to ensure that all necessary licenses, consents and permissions are obtained for the proposed activities. This factor has been considered throughout the planning of the events and therefore performances will take place in the daytime and 14+ years as the minimum age for participation has been set.                 

Links to Mayoral strategies and priorities:

4.2    Big Dance is a significant broad programme which contributes to a range of mayoral agendas including: culture, children & young people, older people, volunteering, sport & physical activity, health, public realm, equalities and London as a friendly city. Big Dance has been specifically cited within the Mayor’s Cultural Strategy (updated in 2014), the Transformational Cultural Projects for the World Cities Forum and Take a Closer Look – the Cultural Tourism Vision for London.

Financial comments

5.    Financial comments

5.1    As part of the 2015-16 budget process, a budget provision of £68,000 was allocated for expenditure upon the Big Dance Programme in 2015-16 and an indicative allocation of £178,000 for 2016-17, which is subject to the Authority’s budget process for 2016-17, currently underway. An estimated project budget for the core GLA funding of £178,000 for 2016-17 as provided by the Culture Team is summarised below:

    Expenditure                                             £000
    Artistic Commission                                     70
    Marketing/ Photography/ Film / PR              50
    Programme Support                                    58
    Total                                                           178

5.2    In addition to the GLA contribution to the programme, officers are currently seeking funding from third parties to supplement the programme, currently estimated at £150,000.Consequently, officers will need to ensure financial commitments are not made, which the external income is due to fund until the funding source has been formally secured.  The programme must be reduced to the level of funding that is secured. 

5.3    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.

Investment and Performance Board

7.    Investment & Performance Board

7.1    In January 2014, the Board received a business case and investment proposal to support the Mayor’s Cultural Strategy implementation from 2014/15 and 2015/16 which was endorsed. MD1316 Cultural Strategy Major Projects supports this decision. The budget for 2016/17 was also included in the IPB papers. 

7.2    IPB approved the expenditure for Big Dance 2016 on 17 September 2015.

Planned delivery approach and next steps

8.    Planned delivery approach and next steps

8.1    This project will be managed through the GLA Culture Team, within the Communities and Intelligence Directorate and working to the lead of the Deputy Mayor for Education and Culture. The Culture Team will be responsible for developing and negotiating all terms of agreement and monitoring performance progress against objectives in order to ensure that all conditions and targets and met for the duration of the delivery period.



Procurement of contracts - funding agreements produced

November 2015

Big Dance Pledge produced

November 2015

Programmes begin

January 2016

Big Dance Pledge

20 May 2016

Mayoral Launch

30 June 2016

Big Dance 2016 Festival Week

2-10 July 2016

Final evaluation start and finish (self/external):

September 2016

Delivery End Date

10 July 2016

Project Closure:

31 March 2017