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Tue May 17 2022

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Work starts on £1.1bn London cultural zone

3 Jul 19 London’s mayor has broken ground to start construction of East Bank, a waterfront cultural and educational campus on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

The £1.1bn project is described as representing the most significant single investment in London’s culture since the legacy of the 1851 Great Exhibition.

East Bank – which is spread across three sites - brings together a new campus for UCL (University College London), BBC recording studios, a campus for UAL’s London College of Fashion, a dance theatre for Sadler’s Wells and two new V&A sites – a museum at Stratford Waterfront including a partnership with the Smithsonian Institution, and a collection and research centre at Here East.

Mayor Sadiq Khan kicked off work at the new UCL (University College London), UCL East and Stratford Waterfront sites. Mace is working with the London Legacy Development Corporation as the project management partner for the delivery of the Stratford Waterfront site and with UCL as main contractor for the Marshgate building of UCL East.

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The construction programme will see more than 1,500 people working on site,  at least 30% of whom will be local residents, and more than 125 apprentices will be working on the site every year.

Khan said: “Culture and creativity has shaped our city and made us who we are – the capital is overflowing with talent and imagination and it is what makes London the greatest city in the world. That is why I am delighted to be in the Olympic Park breaking ground for the most ambitious cultural development in decades. East Bank will inspire a whole new generation of Londoners to pursue their creative ambitions. This new creative cluster will bring together world-leading cultural and educational institutions to give young Londoners the chance to explore career opportunities, create jobs for local people and provide an economic boost for the capital.”

The new buildings have been designed by architects Allies and Morrison (BBC, London College of Fashion, UAL) and O’Donnell + Tuomey (Sadler’s Wells East and V&A East). The public realm at Stratford Waterfront has been designed by LDA Design with Camps Felip Arquitecturia creating the new Carpenters bridge. The UCL East campus has been designed by Stanton Williams and Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands. The V&A’s Collection and Research Centre has been designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro.

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