The iconic Visit London brand is to be sold off as Visit London Ltd is placed in administration. The tourism agency ceased to trade following the establishment of London & Partners, which brings together Visit London, Think London and Study London under one umbrella brand.
Stephen Robert Cork and Joanne Elizabeth Milner at Cork Gully LLP have been appointed to handle the administration, which will see the sale of assets including the company name, website, merchandising, office equipment and TV and audio equipment. Visit London’s staff have transferred over to London & Partners.
Cork Gully confirmed Visit London Ltd had entered administration owing money to creditors but would not disclose the figure outstanding. The last filed financial results for the company (for the year ended 31 March 2010) show income of £21.5m and expenditure of £21.6m, resulting in a deficit for the year of £112k. The balance sheet showed debts of nearly £4m falling due within one year (with £2.6m owed to trade creditors), but there were net funds of £3.6m and fixed assets of £1.1m.
Visit London’s £15.6m grant funding for the year was almost £2m less than expected due to the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review. The accounts show that although the amalgamation of the three agencies had been on the cards, it was expected that Visit London would form the basis of that single agency and that it would enter into a new grant agreement with the London Development Agency providing funding up to April 2014.
However, it was announced last November that the LDA was to be scrapped and the future of the agency hung in the balance as Mayor Boris Johnson appealed to the Treasury for funding. Just £14m a year was secured to cover the activities of all three agencies brought together under London & Partners, which was officially launched on 1 April.