ExCel London plots expansion as consultation on plans launched

The ExCeL will be a vaccination hub

The ExCeL centre in Custom House is one of the first seven mass vaccination hubs. - Credit: PA

Expansion plans have been announced by the ExCel in Custom House, with the exhibition centre set in increase its size by 24,000 sqm. 

A public consultation on the ambitious proposals has been launched, with people being asked for their views on the plans. 

Once completed, the increased capacity – to be added to the eastern side of the building – will create 170 news jobs, ExCel London claims. 

It says that half of the new workforce will be recruited from the surrounding area, while a further 130 jobs will be created by the construction alone. 

ExCeL London chief executive Jeremy Rees said: “While the demand to host world-leading events at ExCeL is increasing, the proposal to add more modern and flexible event space will create a significant advantage for London when competing against other cities around the world.  

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“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. 

“We are committed to the long-term future of ExCeL, supporting the economic recovery and the continued growth of the Royal Docks and London.” 

The conference centre is currently being used as London’s NHS Nightingale Hospital and is set to host a mass Covid vaccination hub for the capital from next week. 

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Architects Grimshaw, who were behind the ExCel’s first expansion in 2010, have been appointed to lead on the design process. 

However, it has been recommended that Newham Council consider the archaeological impact if the plans are approved because of its proximity to the Royal Docks. 

Adam Single, an archaeology adviser at the Greater London Archaeology Advisory Service (GLAAS), commented: “From the mid-nineteenth century the site was developed as the Royal Victoria Dock.  

“Around half of the current ExCel Centre is built out over the former dock, but the proposed extension zone is sited on land that was not excavated for shipping by the Victorian engineers."

To view a virtual exhibition on the plans and to contribute to the public consultation, visit visionforexcel.co.uk

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