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Newham Mayor welcomes 'Olympicopolis' proposals

PUBLISHED: 19:51 09 December 2013 | UPDATED: 19:58 09 December 2013

Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales has welcomed proposals that could see the Victoria & Albert Museum and University College London create new institutions in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

The proposed multi-million pound ‘Olympicopolis’ higher education and cultural district could deliver 10,000 jobs. The project was unveiled in the National Infrastructure Plan published by the Government recently.

Newham Council is set to work with the London Legacy Development Corporation and the Mayor of London on proposals that could see the V@A and UCL open new sites on Stratford waterfront between the Olympic Stadium and Stratford Station.

Sir Robin said: “This is an exciting vision for Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and would further cement Newham’s investment in the Olympic Stadium as a lasting legacy for our residents, London and the nation.

“We are delighted at the prospect of working with the V&A and UCL and other partners on further unlocking the potential of Stratford and Newham. The educational and cultural potential of the project will inspire Newham’s young people to look at the wider opportunities available to them. As well as offering a huge number of jobs for local residents, it would also provide a significant boost to the local economy for years to come.”

The ‘Olympicopolis’ vision takes its inspiration from Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria, who used the proceeds of the 1851 Great Exhibition to create ‘Albertopolis’ - the Exhibition Road site in South Kensington that is today considered one of the world’s pre-eminent scientific, educational and cultural hubs.

UCL’s initial plans would complement their site in central London and include a centre for culture and heritage, a design school, a biotech hub and an educational technology centre, as well as a space for entrepreneurs.

The V&A’s proposed expansion will enable more of its permanent collection to be displayed, as well as providing a showcase for temporary and touring exhibitions in partnership with other leading international museums and galleries, and a centre for research and conservation.

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