First day of business for Westfield Stratford: picture gallery special

The largest urban shopping and leisure centre in Europe opened in Newham today with a host of celebrities in attendance.

The massive new Westfield Stratford City mall – with its 300 shops, 70 restaurants and bars, a 17-screen cinema, ten-pin bowling centre and 1.9m sq feet of retail space – opened in Stratford.

Deprived parts

The Australian-based Westfield company’s development has brought 10,000 jobs to what is one of the most deprived parts of the country. Pop star and X Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger opened the centre.

In total, �1.45bn and 40,000 tonnes of steel have gone into construction – Marks & Spencer and John Lewis have taken huge outlets. They are joined by the likes of Waitrose, Topshop, Boots River Island, Primark, and Goldsmiths, which will be selling some of its jewellery from vending machines.

Westfield expect around 70 per cent of the 10 million visitors to the Games to pass through.

Westfield hope for a share of the overseas visitor spending power. And coaches are already offering direct runs from Paris to Stratford. Around 150 cleaners put the final polish on the site on Monday night and shops and developers at Westfield Stratford City are hoping for a brighter, long-term future.

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Sir Robin Wales, Newham’s Mayor has hailed the development as more important to our long-term future than the Olympics.

Kelly Brook also made an appearance at Westfield Stratford City. The opening for the development was hosted by Pixie Geldof and Nick Grimshaw, and feature pop star Nicole Scherzinger performing five tracks.

Sporting stars Colin Jackson, Tyler Saunders, Darren Sinclair and Twinelle Hopeson were in-store at Lloyds TSB. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was conducted by London’s Mayor Boris Johnson and Frank Lowy, chairman of Westfield Group.

Around 18,000 staff will be employed here.

Westfield facts

40,000 tonnes of structural steel was used in the construction – equivalent to the weight of 80 million medals.

10,000 permanent jobs have been provided – 2,000 of which have gone to local unemployed people.

4 million people live less than 45 minutes away and have �3.24bn to spend.

1.25m metres of cable is in the centre. Plus 30,000 metres of piping.

150 cleaners are clearing the site to be ready for Tuesday’s opening.

75 per cent of Stratford City’s electrical power will be met by an onsite power plant