London domain name to launch in summer 2014

London domain name projected on City Hall
Image caption Businesses can apply for the London address from spring 2014

The capital will gets its own domain name, .london, in the summer of 2014.

London & Partners, the promotional agency for London, said a contract has been signed with Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann).

The registrations for the new addresses will open in spring 2014, with the domain name going live months later.

Tens of thousands of businesses have shown interest, with Selfridges and Carnaby Street saying they were excited to be associated with the London brand.

London Mayor Boris Johnson said: "Adopting the .london suffix will enable organisations to more closely associate themselves with our great city's powerful global brand.

"This is also an excellent opportunity to expand London's digital presence, which in turn is set to generate funds to invest back into the city."

Gordon Innes, chief executive of London & Partners, said the agency has seen "huge interest" from top stores, visitor attractions and other businesses in the city.

Hazel Kay, interim head of marketing at Selfridges, said: "Having a address is an exciting new opportunity to be creative with our web presence while showcasing our strong association with London, which is a key component of our identity."

Claire Harris, head of marketing and communication at Shaftesbury PLC, said: "London is an incredibly strong brand in retail, fashion and lifestyle, so Carnaby is delighted to be able to promote its geographical and cultural identity across the internet in this way."

The bid to get the new domain name was launched last year and a new subsidiary of London & Partners, Dot London Domains Ltd, will operate the .London registry.

London & Partners applied for what is described as a generic top-level domain (gTLD), and other cities, including New York, Paris and Berlin are believed to have applied for their relevant city gTLDs.

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