The Mayor’s London Enterprise Panel (LEP), the local enterprise partnership for London, has become the first Mayoral body to adopt a Dot London web domain, as it launched its new website this week – lep.london.
The Panel is one of 39 LEPs across England and was established by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, to take a strategic view of the regeneration, employment and skills agenda for London. The Panel brings together leading business representatives, the further and higher education sectors, London’s boroughs and the Mayoralty.
Harvey McGrath, Deputy Chair of the London Enterprise Panel, said: “This is an exciting time for the LEP as we take forward a programme of over £350m of funding as part of the LEP’s Growth Deal with Government. The LEP has over £600m of European funding to invest to get Londoners into work, and support London’s small businesses and apprentices. Therefore it is only right that the LEP has a clear online presence so that Londoners can have access to information about the LEP and get more information about these significant funding opportunities”.
Interest for the capital’s top-level domain name, an alternative to ‘.co.uk’ or ‘.com’, has been strong, with over 49,000 Dot London domain names registered since its launch in April, including both global and local companies as well as individuals from around the world taking the opportunity to further associate themselves with the capital. Major brands that have registered Dot London domain names include KPMG, Metro Bank, Fortnum & Mason, the Edwardian Group London and the menswear clothing firm dunhill.
Gordon Innes, Chief Executive of London & Partners, the official promotional company for London, said: “We are glad that the Mayor’s LEP is supporting Dot London by using their newly acquired top-level domain name. The LEP plays a key role in nurturing and advising London’s thriving SME sector and apprenticeship schemes and is setting a strong example for businesses and individuals who are looking to succeed in the capital. London is an internationally recognised city brand and Dot London enables businesses, big and small, to put the city right at the heart of their company.”
A number of businesses and enterprises that originated in London and have now expanded their brand abroad have also furthered their link with the city by taking a Dot London domain name. This includes TechHub, the community and workspace for tech entrepreneurs who now have offices across Europe and Asia; Meantime Brewery, which globally exports its award-winning beer to dozens of countries; and Storm Models who represent internationally recognised models such as Kate Moss and Cara Delevingne.
Nick Miller, Chief Executive of Meantime Brewing, said: “It’s been really important for us to be part of Dot London. Our roots are here in the capital but we now export to dozens of countries all over the world and having a Dot London website means our customers can see that we are part of this great city. It makes sense to me that London businesses should have a website that is inherently part of the city where they’re based and do business.”
London based small to medium sized enterprises have also taken the opportunity to support their home-city with new domain names, including independent speciality coffee company Grind; on-line fashion retailers Guys and Girls London; South East London property agency Stanford Estates; and luxury classic car dealers Hexagon Classics.
Ben Nichol, owner of Stanford Estates, said: “We are a London based estate agents, born-and-bred, so it was only logical for us to have a Dot London domain name. It helps us to stand out from the rest and strengthen our link with one of the most thriving, property-rich cities in the world.”
Antony Van Couvering, Chief Executive of Minds + Machines, the commercial partner of Dot London, said: “By having a Dot London domain name, businesses will secure a web address that is more relevant to them as a London brand, identifying them as either being located or associated with the city. Having the support from the LEP further enhances Dot London’s aim to become a prominent part of the capital’s business enterprise infrastructure and support those companies who have a strong link with the city.”
Demand for Dot London domain names remains strong with registrars, such as 123–reg, Easyspace, Fasthosts, 1&1, Minds + Machines and Go Daddy. Dot London is one of more than 1,000 new gTLDs being released by ICANN, the global internet body, along with other city based domain names, including ‘.paris’, ‘.berlin’ and ‘.nyc’.