iCITY’s plans for a technology hub at the former broadcast and press centres at the Olympic Park have been approved by the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), with the new development set to be known as ‘Here East’.
The final plans for the hub were shown to TechWeekEurope in October ahead of a formal planning permission application. Now it’s been approved, so construction at the site will begin in the summer, creating more than 7,500 jobs both at the hub and in the local community.
iCITY CEO Gavin Poole has called the approval a major milestone in the delivery of the Olympic legacy and claims Here East will provide support to the London digital community.
Most of the 300,000 square foot press centre will become office space, with the lower west-facing level opposite the canal used for local artisan businesses such as bakers and cafes. The 800,000 square foot broadcast centre will house one of Europe’s most efficient server farms, operated by Infinity SDC, alongside BT Sport’s studios.
In between the ‘two workhouse’ buildings will be an auditorium, housing between 750 and 900 people, while the yard will be an adaptable space for activities, such as film screenings and celebratory events. Last October, iCITY said the complex was already 40 percent let, with BT Sport already operating and Loughborough University and Hackney Community College among confirmed tenants.
Here East will also be partnering with Hackney House to promote the hub at South by South West (SXSW) in Austin Texas, between and 10 March.
“I am also particularly excited that we will be partnering with Hackney House at South by Southwest, showcasing our plans and providing a platform for some of Hackney’s newest companies and budding entrepreneurs,” added Poole.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has also voiced his approval. Johnson hopes to turn the Olympic Park into a testing ground for new smart city initiatives as part of a new ‘Smart London plan’ that will attempt to use technology to solve future challenges created by the capital’s expected growth.
“I’m delighted that the plans for Here East, which will become a world leading digital hub have been approved,” he said. “It will provide thousands of high quality jobs and be a real jewel in the crown of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.”
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