Press release

Prime Minister launches drive to promote Britain

The GREAT campaign - a new drive to promote Britain abroad as a place to visit and do business - was launched by the Prime Minister today.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

With the Royal Wedding this year and London 2012 and the Diamond Jubilee next year, the eyes of the world are on the UK. The Government is determined to seize this unprecedented opportunity to ensure that the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games are not only a spectacular celebration of sport, but also deliver a lasting economic legacy for the whole country, boosting investment, jobs and growth.

The new GREAT campaign, announced by Prime Minister David Cameron in New York, will focus on everything the UK has to offer as one of the very best places to visit, study, work, invest and do business. It will allow Britain to speak with one voice about the opportunities to invest in the UK and help to attract millions of visitors.

Mr Cameron said:

In 2012 there will only be one place to be. With the Olympic and Paralympic Games coming to London next summer, the greatest show on earth is about to arrive in one of the world’s greatest cities.

We are determined to make the most of this unprecedented opportunity to ensure we deliver a lasting economic legacy that will benefit the whole country.

This campaign is simple. There are so many great things about Britain and we want to send out the message loud and proud that this is a great place to do business, to invest, to study and to visit.


At least £1 billion in Olympic business boost

The Prime Minister also announced plans for a ‘Global Investment Conference’ for investors and business leaders to be held in London on the eve of the Games and an innovative programme of business summits including the ‘British Business Embassy’ highlighting key sectors for global growth and an online ‘British Business Club’. The programme of business events will be delivered by UK Trade & Investment and is expected to generate, over time, at least a £1 billion boost for British business.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

The Olympics is a tremendous opportunity to showcase the best of British. We want to demonstrate the great products we already offer the world, from Formula One racing cars to innovative aerospace technology and cutting edge fashion brands.  And we want to highlight the opportunities for world-leading businesses with global ambition to invest and grow in Britain.

Minister for Trade and Investment, Lord Green added:

I am determined that we make the most of 2012 to promote brand Britain and deliver long-term economic benefits for the whole country. The GREAT campaign will be an important part in achieving that goal. UK Trade & Investment’s innovative programme of business engagement will, over time, deliver more than a billion pounds of additional revenue for British business.

An extra 4 million visitors

Tourism will be a key part of the GREAT campaign. The sector already contributes £115 billion each year to the UK economy and we believe it has the potential to be one of the fastest growing sectors in the years ahead. Our aim is to attract an extra 4 million visitors to the country over the next 4 years.

Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, said:

With the eyes of the world on Britain in 2012, we have a fantastic opportunity to showcase everything that the country has to offer. The GREAT campaign will ensure that we make the most of London 2012 to boost tourism and business, leaving a lasting economic legacy from London’s Games.

Notes to Editors

Details of today’s announcements

The GREAT campaign will focus on everything the UK has to offer, as one of the very best places to visit, study, work, invest and do business.

GREAT will be used to ensure the whole of the British Government speaks with one voice.

GREAT will draw on areas of British excellence covering reasons to invest in and visit Britain. These areas are Technology and Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Creativity, Knowledge, Green, Heritage, Sport, Shopping, Music, Countryside.

The materials for GREAT will be available to Government departments to draw on for their campaign activities.

The GREAT campaign is being supported by a number of British business leaders:

Marc Bolland, Chief Executive, Marks & Spencer: “As a true British brand, Marks & Spencer is proud to represent all that is great about Britain to our customers internationally.” 

Colin Grassie, Chief Executive Officer UK, Deutsche Bank: “We are delighted to be associated with this exciting campaign and look forward to engaging with the Government on it.”

Jonathan Goodwin, Co-founder of the Founders Forum & PROfounders: “We are proud to be linked with this exciting campaign and will work with the Government to drive it forward.” 

Steve Holliday, Chief Executive, National Grid: “We strongly support the aims of this campaign and will assist the Government where we can.” 

Justin King, Chief Executive Officer, Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd: “We are delighted to support this exciting campaign.  We want to play our part in putting the Great back into Britain.” 

Julian Roberts, Chief Executive, Old Mutual plc: “This is an exciting campaign which we are delighted to be involved with; we will work closely with the Government to help achieve its aim.”

Angela Ahrendts, Chief Executive Officer, Burberry: “We applaud the vision of the new GREAT campaign. As a global brand with a proud British heritage, we fully support its aim of raising international awareness of the country’s unique assets and tremendous opportunities for inward investment.”

Tom Albanese, Chief Executive, Rio Tinto: “We are delighted to be associated with this exciting campaign and look forward to engaging with the Government on it going forward.”

Dominic Murphy, Partner at KKR: “We think Great Britain is a GREAT place to invest.”

Wayne Edmunds, Chief Executive of Invensys plc:  “As a British technology company helping industrial customers and rail operators in over 180 countries, we are pleased to support the Great campaign and in particular its aim of attracting further investment in technology and innovation into the UK.”

Bob Diamond, Chief Executive Barclays:
“The single most important priority that we all share right now is to do everything possible to restore UK economic growth and job creation.

Fundamental to that is rebuilding the confidence of those inside and outside the UK to invest; to visit; and to buy British goods. The GREAT Britain campaign will provide an important fillip to confidence at a critical time. Barclays has made Britain its home for over 300 years. We certainly think Britain is GREAT and look forward to working with Her Majesty’s Government and the other campaign partners to remind the world why.”

 Ron Dennis CBE said: “Britain has a great history of technology and innovation, and we should be very proud of that. I’ve always said that we need to inspire people in this country to achieve more and be confident about our achievements abroad. The GREAT campaign is essential in doing just that and in helping us compete for investment in a tough global economic environment.”

Published 21 September 2011