Westfield Stratford opening: Nicole Scherzinger pictures and more
There was a shopping bonanza, showbiz glamour and smashed glass as the Westfield Stratford City shopping centre opened in east London today.
A glass ceiling tile - roughly 5ft by 2.5ft - smashed in front of London Mayor Boris Johnson as he opened the �1.4 billion retail and leisure hub which will be a gateway to the London Olympics.
The tile dropped 30ft and shattered on impact near a stage where pop star Nicole Scherzinger had just performed live as part of the star-studded opening ceremony. The Mayor escaped injury and no one else was hurt.
Security staff cordoned off the area while cleaners hurried in to clear up the debris.
Mr Johnson brushed off the incident, saying: “They have worked flat-out down here and whatever has happened over there (where the roof tile fell), I’m sure will be investigated and cleared up as soon as possible.”
The building, Europe’s largest urban shopping centre, officially opened its doors to the public today.
It is home to more than 300 shops, 70 restaurants, a 14-screen cinema, three hotels, a bowling alley and the UK’s largest casino.
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Many people queued for two hours before most shops opened at the centre.
The centre was packed with shoppers, there to enjoy the celeb appearances and take advantage of opening-day offers.
Most stores, including Marks and Spencer and John Lewis, were opening from 10am, with Mr Johnson and Frank Lowy, chairman and co-founder of the Westfield Group, cutting the ribbon at noon.
Pixie Geldof and TV presenter Nick Grimshaw were the event hosts and Scherzinger performed live.
Mr Johnson said the centre had played, and would continue to play, a “crucial role” in regeneration.
“Thousands of jobs for Londoners, millions in investment, and one of the best shopping destinations in the world are a fantastic legacy which has been delivered years earlier than would have been possible without the 2012 Games,” he said.
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Browse our gallery of pictures from today’s events.