The first pioneer websites to carry the Dot London domain name have launched today, as .london web address go on sale to Londoners and London businesses for the first time.

Internet registrars have already received more than 50,000 expressions of interest from people who want to secure Dot London addresses.

"Londoners have a real sense of pride in their city and when we've talked to them about Dot London," said Kit Malthouse, Deputy Mayor of London for Business and Enterprise.

"They're really excited about the prospect of putting London right at the heart of their businesses and online branding."

Malthouse believes that by associating themselves with London through the domain name, individuals and businesses will benefit by becoming more relevant to their customers.

The first Dot London sites to go live today come from all sectors and include TechHub, Meantime Brewing, Fortnum & Mason and Metro Bank.

Craig Donaldson, chief executive of Metro Bank, said: "As a bank that truly supports and represents London and its many diverse communities, the decision to partner with Dot London was an easy one, and we're honoured to be the first bank involved."

The new .london address is part of a major web address expansion that will see global internet body ICANN release more than 1,000 new internet domains this year, representing the biggest expansion of the domain space for decades.

Other cities to have already launched their own domain name include Berlin, whose "dot berlin" domain name launched back in March.