Over 150 senior figures from the exhibition, conference and events industry attended ‘Completing the Vision,’ a forum on the future of the capital’s eastside, last week at at Excel London.
The event outlined the major new developments taking place in London’s eastside and how the events industry stands to benefit from them.
Facilitated by BBC newsreader Fiona Bruce, the forum featured 11 top-level speakers and touched on not only the venue’s own plans for future expansion, but the other major changes taking place in the area including the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the O2, Silvertown Quays regeneration development and plans for City Airport and London Rail.
Key developments include:
The expansion of Excel London by 36,000m2, bringing the total event space to 100,000m2 by the end of 2009. Plans also include an entertainment area with further bars, restaurants, hotel and a casino.
The transformation of the former Millennium Dome into the O2, a world-class entertainment destination, in 2007. The O2 will include a 23,000 capacity arena with an extensive supporting entertainment district including cinema, casino, club and a West End style theatre, which will be the permanent home for Cirque de Soleil. 150 events are expected in its first year of opening.
One of Europe's largest regeneration schemes, immediately opposite Excel London. Silvertown Quays is a £1.5 billion development, which will create a town centre for the Royal Docks area. In addition to 5,000 new homes, high quality bars, restaurants and leisure facilities, the £80m Biota! - Europe's largest aquarium, will open in 2009 and is expected to attract one million visitors a year.
A forecast 24% of all hotels will be constructed in London's eastside by 2010. In the following 12 months three major four- and five-star hotels will be opening in close proximity to Excel London (The Hilton in Canary Wharf and Tower Bridge and the Radisson Edwardian in Providence Wharf).
Major expansion of the Docklands Light Railway to Woolwich, Stratford International, Clapham Junction, Highbury & Islington and West Croydon over the next ten years. This expansion will link north and south London using the existing railway infrastructure - the first step towards creating an orbital system.
London City Airport plans to almost double its flights and passenger movements, in line with expanding the terminal, developing the Jet Centre and introducing new aircrafts.
Regeneration of the area to potentially include 82,000 new residential units, 1,900,000m2 of commercial space and 400,000m2 of retail/leisure space.
From research conducted during the forum, 30% of delegates cited that they already promote the capital’s eastside as a destination choice for their clients, while 75% of attendees responded that the forthcoming changes would considerably improve London’s offering to the events industry.
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