Transport for London (TfL) today announced it has opened a tender process as it starts the hunt for six commercial partners for the Elizabeth Line in a move it hopes will bring an income boost to the organisation.
Six brands will be given "sector-exclusive promotion" across the line during its first year in operation, allowing big names to keep their competitors away for the duration of the agreement. It should bring in around £6.5m per partner.
The 10 new stations for the railway will feature advertising space including continuous ultra-HD LCD screens running along the length of escalators, while there will also be a 25sqm digital screen at Tottenham Court Road.
Services begin in December this year, as the line opens in stages before the full railway is in action in December 2019.
Some 200m passengers are expected to use the new line annually, and TfL says this will offer "an unrivalled opportunity for brands".
|The Elizabeth Line partnership package will include:|
TfL hopes the auction of the rights will help it bring in more income - as part of efforts to maximise its assets to drum up investment it can use to improve the capital's transport network.
TfL's budget is £700m a year lower after the government's decision in 2015 to strip back the operating grant, and City Hall has called the lack of support unsustainable for the capital.
It said in its most recent business plan that it expects a £784m deficit this year, which will then hit £968m for 2018/19, but is aiming to turn that around to an operating surplus by 2021.
A concerted commercial drive is considered vital to achieving this. TfL published its first annual advertising report in October, which said £142m of advertising revenue was raised and then reinvested in the past year.
It has also set up a consulting arm to cash in on sharing expertise with operators around the globe.
Graeme Craig, director for commercial development at TfL, said:
The launch of the Elizabeth Line offers an unmatched opportunity for brands to be part of a historic moment for our city.
We look forward to hearing from interested brands who will bring creativity and energy to the Elizabeth line during its inaugural year.
How the Elizabeth Line will fit in with the rest of the Tube map: