O2 joins Eastside convention centre race
18-Dec-09by Annie Byrne
O2’s management company Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) has admitted they are finalising plans for another large convention centre for London Eastside. The news follows Excel London’s own new-build which has laid claim to be London’s first International Convention Centre. Designs for the O2’s convention centre reportedly cater for more than 3,000 delegates, with the structure sitting next to the O2 Arena. Plans are expected to be finalised and revealed officially by AEG in February 2010, before being submitted to Greenwich Council for approval. A spokesman for AEG tells Exhibition News: “We are considering options for the development of a 450-bed four-star hotel, and this will include a significant events and banqueting centre. “We are in the final stages of the planning application with Greenwich Council, HCA, CABE and representatives from the Mayor’s office.” The Evening Standard newspaper quotes a source which has seen drawings prepared by architects Lifschutz Davidson, which says the 300,000 square foot centre will be built on the riverbank to the east of the O2, adjacent to an 18-storey hotel. “It is huge, with the biggest clear-span space you have ever seen,” said the source. “It will become the best spot in London to hold a conference, exhibition, awards ceremony, or global convention.” London Eastside could be set up for a future battle of the ICCs. Private investment by ADNEC will see its Excel venue expand by 50 per cent, create 12,000 new jobs and bring on stream a 5,000-seater auditorium. The venue is due to open next spring.