ExCeL London has launched a public consultation on proposals to expand the venue. Under the plans, a new continuous event space would be added to the east of the site, building on the car park accessed via Eastern Gateway Road.
The Phase 3 expansion would increase the venue’s total event space by 25%, approximately 25,000sqm.
The proposals will include what the venue says will be an “improved customer experience”, with new meeting rooms, a breakout space, and further catering services.
The 100,000sqm venue, which is currently serving as an NHS Nightingale hospital and mass vaccination centre, is encouraging local communities to have their say on the proposals.
The plans suggest the expansion will contribute to both London’s and local authority Newham’s economy by creating an additional 170 new jobs with an aim for 50% of these opportunities to be for local people. Around 130 new full-time jobs will be created during the construction phase of the project, including apprenticeships and training opportunities for young people, which ExCeL says will maintain its commitment to high levels of local employment. It already employs over 160 people, 34% of whom live in East London.
The proposals also lay out plans for the delivery of a sustainable development, which will aim to achieve a Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) rating of ‘Excellent’, creating a biodiversity net gain across the site, with additional investment in enhanced landscaping and planting.
There will also be improvements to pedestrian and cycle routes around both the venue and the wider dock-edge. The dock will have a more open and welcoming active frontage, which could include new seating, landscaping, and spaces for people to relax and socialise.
Jeremy Rees, ExCeL London’s CEO, said that despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the demand to host world-leading events at ExCeL is increasing and the proposals to add more modern and flexible event space will create a significant advantage for London when competing against other cities around the world.
“We are delighted to be launching our first phase of consultation. A project to expand the footprint of the venue further to the east of our site has always been in our thinking,” he said. “Prior to the pandemic we were attracting four million visitors each year, including 25% of London’s total inbound business tourists, and generating an economic impact of around £4.5bn for the London and UK economies.
“This is a unique opportunity to deliver an entirely privately funded project that will create a significant impact not just for the local community and the visitor economy, but for London as a whole.”
Rees added that ExCeL London’s expansion would support further investment and growth in the local area. He said: “We are committed to the long-term future of ExCeL, supporting the economic recovery and the continued growth of the Royal Docks and London. Our plans would support even more investment and growth locally, as well as an additional 130 new jobs during construction and 170 more once open.”
More details about the Phase 3 proposals can be viewed online at www.visionforexcel.co.uk