Hi-tech cluster lined up for media centre

By Giles Broadbent on July 18, 2012 1:20 PM |

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The Olympic media centre is likely to become a digital hub, extending Tech City east and potentially creating 4,000 new jobs.

The London Legacy Development Corporation has unveiled iCity as the preferred bidder for the vast building - although with the withdrawal of rival bid Fashion Hub it was mostly a technicality.

It comes on the same day as the LLDC and the Mayor of London Boris Johnson revealed that four bidders are seeking to take over the Olympic Stadium - West Ham, Leyton Orient, UCFB College of Football Business and a consortium that is looking to stage Formula One races around the venue.

Press and Broadcast Centres

Start-ups, investors and global corporations are likely to occupy the 1million sq ft building if iCity can firm up its plans. The consortium is backed by Delancey - which is also a partner in the Athletes Village refurb - and Infinity, a data storage specialist.

The digital hub would harness innovation and creativity in east London, tying in with the Silicon Roundabout and the enterprise zone around the Royal Docks.

iCity also plans a conference centre and a pedestrian square for broadcasting major sporting events, along with cafes, restaurants and bars.

Gavin Poole, chief executive officer of iCity, said: "This is a unique opportunity to cement Britain's position as a global leader in innovation and the creative industries.

"iCity will provide a sustainable legacy for the local community through the creation of thousands of jobs, apprenticeships and training opportunities.

"The incredible track record of start-ups and entrepreneurs in east London is growing at an impressive rate, and this is a chance to provide additional connectivity, capacity, investment and highly advanced infrastructure. I am hugely excited that work can now begin on turning that vision into a reality."

Stadium

The final four bidders for the Olympic Stadium come from West Ham United, Intelligent Transport Services in association with Formula One, UCFB College of Football Business and Leyton Orient.

All the bids will now be assessed to ensure they are compliant, before being evaluated ahead of negotiations.

The stadium is already set to become the new national home for athletics and host to the IAAF 2017 World Athletics Championships. Newham Borough Council has set aside £40million to ensure a community use.

Housing

The LLDC Board also selected the winning developer to build the first new neighbourhood on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The developer, which cannot be named until the tendering process is fully completed next week, will be able to begin work as soon as the Games finish in order for the first homes to be ready at the end of 2014.

Reaction

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: "With the future for six out of the eight Olympic Park facilities are already secured, it is now particularly encouraging to see on top of that a substantial bid for the Press and Broadcast Centres that we hope will act as a spring board for major job creation and new opportunities for local people.

"No other host city has been this far advanced with its legacy planning before even the first starting gun has been fired."

Daniel Moylan, chairman of the London Legacy Development Corporation, said: "London is further ahead in planning legacy than any previous host Olympic city. While there is still a way to go, we should be proud of the achievements so far in planning a new part of London with new homes, jobs and a set of thriving sporting venues for everyone to enjoy."

Andrew Altman, chief executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation said: "Today's announcements are the culmination of three years' hard work from the team. They represent a significant milestone in turning planning into reality.

"Through this kind of private investment we can work to create a great employment, housing and sporting legacy for east London."