New cultural district for East London

UK politicians have pledged their support for the development of a new cultural and higher education district on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London.

Featured in the government’s latest National Infrastructure Plan, the project is set to create 10,000 jobs and provide a GBP5.2bn (€6.7bn) boost to the local economy of Stratford and East London.

It’s been proposed that the new cultural quarter will be developed in partnership with University College London and the Victoria & Albert Museum, and will include the construction of new sites situated between the Olympic Stadium and the Stratford Waterfront.

UCL’s plans include a new centre for culture and heritage, a design school and an educational technology centre; while the V&A have proposed additional spaces to display its permanent collection, a centre for research and conservation, and temporary and touring exhibitions in collaboration with international museums and galleries.

The vision has been nicknamed ‘Olympicopolis’, and takes inspiration from Prince Albert’s ‘Albertopolis’, the cultural area around Exhibition Rd in South Kensington.

Both the Mayor of London and Chancellor of the Exchequer have been involved in the plans, alongside the London Legacy Development Corporation.

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London said: ‘As our Olympic park re-opens, I want to raise our ambitions for this magnificent site to squeeze out every drop of potential…We want to use Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park as a catalyst for the industries and technologies in which London now leads the world in order to create thousands of new jobs.’

It’s hoped that investment in the project will also attract other companies and businesses to the site, and its reported talks have already begun with several ‘world-renowned institutions’.