The City Centre is the place to come to learn about and debate the built environment of the Square Mile and home to the City of London’s official architectural model. Through exhibitions, events and learning activity, The City Centre provides access to the City for professionals, the public and young people, helping to inform good decision-making and inspiring young people to engage with the built environment.
The City Centre is available for private hire, with a board room and conference room. The spaces are fully equipped to support a wide range of events including receptions, conferences, meetings and dinners. A dedicated team can provide event management, hospitality and catering.
Meet the team
Benjamin James O’Connor
Benjamin is a Director of New London Architecture (NLA) and started as Director of The City Centre in September 2015 developing several new streams of activity including an Education programme, Exhibitions, Public Events and a brand new Private Hire offer. Shortly after the Lord Mayor opened The City Centre to the public, Benjamin took on the role as Director of the One City project, a new digital platform for promoting the best the City has to offer to City workers.
Benjamin comes to the City from his role as Head of Operations at the Garden Museum which is where he developed his interest and expertise in green infrastructure and public space, two key focal points for the Centre’s activity. Prior to his role at the Garden Museum, Benjamin worked as a Gallery Manager for a private commercial gallery. He trained in Fine Art to MA level at Central Saint Martin’s School of Art and Design, has been a Features Editor for an online lifestyle magazine and sits on a number of committees for Cultural Development.
Head of Learning
Lettie is our Head of Learning. After studying Art History at the University of East Anglia from 2005 - 2009 she started her career at The Royal Opera House in 2010. Since then Lettie has co-ordinated public events and schools visits at a variety of arts organisations including the Barbican and Dulwich Picture Gallery. Most recently prior to this role she ran the Learning department at Fulham Palace. She has a wealth of experience developing and delivering Educational content for all ages, backgrounds and abilities.
Head of Events
Ruth joined The City Centre as Head of Events in June 2018. She brings over ten years’ experience in venue hire and commercial events within cultural and historic venues: London Transport Museum, Sir John Soane’s Museum, the Royal Hospital Chelsea, Dulwich Picture Gallery and National Glass Centre. With a passion for visual culture, Ruth completed an MA in History of Art with Photography at Birkbeck College, University of London in 2017 and in her spare time she volunteers with the Cinema Museum. Ruth is responsible for overseeing venue hire; ensuring that The City Centre is a first-choice venue for meetings, receptions and a wide range of corporate events in the heart of the City.
Marketing and Comms Manager Nicola Sheppey
Nicola joined The City Centre as Marketing and Communications Manager in November 2018. Prior to joining the City she worked at one of Southeast Asia’s largest arts festivals and other emerging arts festivals and projects in Malaysia. She graduated from the University of Hull with a degree in English with Creative Writing in 2012, and has since worked in marketing, copywriting and journalism, most prominently as Marketing Communications Specialist at a medical device company. Passionate about writing and branding, Nicola manages the promotion and publicity of The City Centre both as a leading establishment for education and culture, and as a first-rate venue for private events. Nicola also manages One City, the digital platform promoting the best the City has to offer to young City workers.
Hannah is The City Centre's Learning Officer. She graduated with a degree in Modern and Contemporary History in 2015 from Queen Mary, University of London. Since graduating she has had experience in project and volunteer coordination in pop-up projects with the National Trust that showcased London’s modern heritage and architecture. Before joining in July 2017, Hannah was working as a Language Assistant in Barcelona, teaching English as a Second Language for a primary and secondary school. Hannah is responsible for supporting the delivery of The City Centre and New London Architecture’s learning programme for schools, families and young people.
Andy is a classically trained Chef with over 40 years’ experience in the hospitality industry. During Andy’s career he has held number of senior positions, specialising in banqueting and fine dining. Andy also holds advanced qualification in Food Safety to trainer level. Andy is a strong believer in encouraging young people to choose the hospital industry as a career and a number of his protégés have gone on to run their own kitchens. During his career he has seen many different styles of cuisines come and go, but he is a strong believer that all Chefs should have an understanding of French classics. Since joining in 2018, Andy is bringing his extensive experience to deliver exceptional seasonal menus.
Digital Content Editor
Mandy is the Digital Content Editor for One City and The City Centre. She received a BFA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago and completed an MA from the Royal College of Art. She is passionate about visual communication in the digital realm, with specific interest in contemporary art, architecture and design.
Possessing over 10 years of experience shooting and editing images, she has exhibited works internationally in the US, UK, Japan and Germany. She currently manages The City Centre’s social media platforms and is responsible for researching, editing and scheduling content across One City London’s digital channels.
Cleo entered the events industry as an apprentice with event management company Canal 125, before joining The City Centre in February 2019 as Events Assistant. Helping venue hire customers to create fantastic conferences, receptions and team away days, Cleo is pursuing her desire to establish a career in event management.
Cleo further develops her creativity with her keen interest in the beauty industry and often spends her weekends supporting various private events as a make-up artist.
Casual Events Staff
Come and join our friendly team! The City Centre is looking for Casual Events staff to assist with corporate and public events: providing excellent visitor service, food and drinks service. A full job description and details of how to apply can be found here
This is an open vacancy with no closing date. Please send a CV and Covering Letter to firstname.lastname@example.org
News: July 2019 - NLA consolidates key building environment brands to create one world-leading centre for excellence
New London Architecture (NLA) today announces plans to enhance its status as the world’s leading centre for excellence for the built environment.
By creating a new network, to include the London Festival of Architecture, The City Centre, the London Real Estate Forum and London at MIPIM, NLA brings together its key brands into a single organisation with a joint mission to shape a better city.
To help drive these exciting changes NLA has invited Michael Cassidy CBE to join its board as Non-Executive Chairman. Peter Murray will take on the role of Curator-in-Chief and Nick McKeogh remains Chief Executive. Debbie Whitfield becomes Managing Director and Gaynor Syed Chief Operating Officer.
The newly configured NLA Board will include Niki Kernohan (Pipers Events), Ben O’Connor (The City Centre), Tamsie Thomson (London Festival of Architecture), Lara Kinneir (NLA) and Catherine Staniland (NLA).
Since it was established in 2005 NLA’s aim has been to bring people and organisations together to shape a better city; its audience includes politicians, public bodies, industry professionals and local communities. Through an unrivalled year-round programme of research, exhibitions, events and awards, NLA inspires, influences and informs.
Broadening NLA’s activities to include these key industry events and initiatives creates a hugely powerful tool to deliver their shared aim. The London Real Estate Forum and London at MIPIM are essential events in the property world’s calendar; the City Centre is a hub for education and inspiration in the heart of the Square Mile, while the London Festival of Architecture brings architecture to life for hundreds of thousands of people each year in London, and to a global audience of millions.
As NLA expands its activities it is also making changes to its membership structure: personal membership will be introduced for the first time, with new packages that allow all members – from school children to global corporations – to share the debate about the future of London’s built environment. At a time of political flux and ahead of London elections in 2020, NLA is bringing its constituent elements closer together to ensure that the voices of London’s built environment contribute more clearly and effectively to the debate. Crucially, NLA is determined to deliver the best possible value to its membership through a greater profile, enhanced access to its network, and new ways of sharing knowledge.
Peter Murray, who started NLA in 2005 together with Nick McKeogh, remains at the heart of NLA as curator-in-chief, and leads many of the organisation’s activities. He said:
“Michael Cassidy is a superb appointment to NLA. He has done amazing work over the years to help deliver a better city and is an example to us all in his commitment to good design, placemaking and city planning and we look forward to working with him to deliver a supercharged NLA ”
Michael Cassidy CBE has been a key figure in the City of London for the past 40 years. He was Chair of the Planning Committee and Policy and Resources Committee at a critical time in its growth and is Chairman of the Ebbsfleet Development Corporation. He said:
“I am delighted to join NLA at such an important and exciting time. London’s built environment sector is a powerful driving force for our great city, and it is thanks to the many talented individuals and organisations working within it that London is the best place in the world to live, work and visit. Much of my role will be bringing them together more closely within the NLA network so we can share our knowledge and pool our influence for the benefit of each other and our city.”
Tamsie Thomson, Director of the London Festival of Architecture and a newly-appointed Director of NLA, said:
“This is a tremendously exciting time for LFA to be integrating more closely with NLA. Our diverse and dynamic leadership team has huge energy, drive and ambition. We are keen to harness the enormous power and potential of our expanding membership to help deliver and shape a better city and to share the story of London with cities around the world.”
Click here to learn more about New London Architecture.
020 3633 2077
Notes to editors
NLA is an independent membership organisation for everyone with an interest in the future of London’s built environment. NLA’s purpose is to improve the quality of people’s lives by making London a better place to live, work and visit. NLA achieves this by engaging the broadest possible audience across government, business and the public.
The NLA Board comprises:
Michael Cassidy CBE (Chair)
Peter Murray (Curator in Chief)
Nick McKeogh (Chief Executive)
Gaynor Syed (Chief Operating Officer)
Debbie Whitfield (Managing Director)
Barry McKeogh (Non-executive)
Patrick McKeogh (Non-executive)
Membership of NLA is being opened to everyone – from a school child to an international corporation – to benefit from access to its unrivalled knowledge, network and reach, and to help contribute to shaping a better city.
NLA’s two public galleries in central London – the NLA Galleries and The City Centre – attract over 200,000 visitors per year and are supported by regular talks and guided walks.
NLA produces regular research and attracts international press coverage about issues facing London, and has a social media reach of over 200 million people. Over 1,300 speakers took part in NLA’s core programme in 2018, with 359 events bringing together professionals from across the public and private sectors together with community groups to share knowledge, present plans and provide a forum for debate. NLA engages with 3,500 young people every year through its education programme, and is supporting rising talent and diversity through its Next Generation, Inspiring Women and Diversity networks. In 2018 71 international delegations came to NLA to share best practice and thinking.
The London Festival of Architecture (LFA) is the world’s largest annual architecture festival, celebrating London as a global architectural hub and promoting positive change to its public realm. In 2019 the festival is exploring the theme ‘boundaries’ through a public programme of over 500 events across London in June, in pursuit of a mission to support London architectural talent, enthuse and engage with the public, and fine new ways to look at familiar places. Alongside the public events programme the LFA continues to shape London’s architectural discourse and public realm through a series of design competitions, campaigns and other initiatives.
NLA runs the London Real Estate Forum (LREF) – the premier real estate event in London that brings together over 2,600 decision-makers from the business and property investment community each June.
Through London at MIPIM, NLA takes over 600 organisations to MIPIM, the international property show in Cannes that attracts an audience of over 26,000 real estate professionals from 100 countries.
The New London Awards is an annual programme that celebrates best practice across projects of all types and scales. NLA leads thinking through the New London Sounding Board that provides a single, cross-industry voice that comments on and contributes to the debate surrounding major change in the capital, and NLA also runs the All Party Parliamentary Group for London’s Planning and Built Environment. NLA offers a range of bespoke services to its members including research, events, charrettes, competitions and exhibitions for those that are looking to draw on its unique skills and network.