Advanced Television

Media legacy future for Olympic Centres

October 19, 2010

From Colin Mann in London

Senior officials responsible for the post-2012 utilisation of the Press and Broadcast Centres at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London have confirmed their strong commitment to ensuring that the locations form part of a new centre for creative industries.

Andrew Altman, Chief Executive of the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) said the body “was looking for real partners to make this happen,” adding that as London looks to grow, the opportunities were moving east. Jules Pipe, elected Mayor of Hackney, the London Borough where the Park is situated, said that he believe the site could become central to a wide range of media business services, pointing out that the available space (29,000m2 of office space in the Press Centre; 62,000 m2 of commercial space in the International Broadcast Centre) was greater than that at Salford, where a significant number of BBC operations are scheduled to move, and the BBC TV Centre in London’s White City district.

Altman and Pipe were hosting an event designed to gauge and invite interest in legacy plans. Pipe was able to reaffirm the support for the project from London’s Mayor, Boris Johnson whose office will take over the OPLC’s duties under recently-announced reforms to public bodies. “The creative industries have a long and rich history in London and East London in particular is home to a huge concentration of innovative companies and individuals at the cutting edge of their industries,” said Johnson’s message to the meeting. “The IBC and MPC will provide a once in a generation opportunity for this sector to take advantage of the investment in connectivity and infrastructure provided for the 2012 Games. London is a global leader in the creative sectors and it would be a fitting legacy of the 2012 Games for these centres to play host to a creative cluster of the media and digital industries,” he concluded.

A number of existing broadcast service providers are looking at the opportunities. “As a major Soho production centre we can see it is something we should think about,” said Maurizio Cimelli, SVP Europe and Middle East for Ascent Media Group. “The site has great connectivity and power. I was encouraged to see the number of companies taking the opportunity seriously. We will certainly be keeping an eye on developments in the coming months. It also all depends on who they finally select to run the site and whether they understand Media,” he admitted.

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