What is East Bank?

Work is now well underway across the Park to build East Bank – our world-leading new powerhouse for innovation, creativity and learning.

The London 2012 Games were a great success but the legacy would always be more than a wonderful summer of sport. Key to the long-term success is the impact of the wider regeneration of the area and the creation of new opportunities for Londoners for decades to come. 
 
East Bank – one of the world’s largest and most ambitious culture and education districts – is central to that long-term legacy creating a powerhouse for artistic excellence, learning, research, performance and exhibitions. It represents a unique prospect for London and a concept that is almost unparalleled on the international stage. 
 
World-renowned universities UCL (University College London) and UAL’s London College of Fashion will join the global cultural brands of the BBC, Sadler’s Wells and the V&A to create this centre of innovation and ambition. This part of London has always been a place of firsts where canals and lock gates opened early industry; rockets and bone china were first fired; and Joan Littlewood transformed theatre into a people’s palace at Stratford Theatre Royal. 
 
Spread across three sites at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, East Bank will be at the heart of a growing cluster of commerce, technology, manufacture, retail, education and the creative arts delivering unprecedented new job opportunities in the digital age. It will bring an additional 1.5 million visitors to the Park and surrounding area each year, and more than 2,500 jobs will be created by East Bank – generating an estimated £1.5 billion generation for the local economy.
    • Sadler's Wells will open a new 550-seat theatre presenting the best UK and international dance work; and establish a new centre for choreographic practice and a hip hop academy, both of which will be the first of their kind in the country.
    • UAL's London College of Fashion will integrate its six sites onto one state-of-the-art campus, accommodating 6,500 students with their world-leading research community, business incubation and social enterprise centre, alongside public open spaces, galleries, libraries and archives.
    • The V&A will display its world-famous collections at two sites. There will be a new museum to explore the V&A’s renowned collection, which will include a co-curated space with the Smithsonian Institution, pioneering exhibitions, gallery displays and spaces for community-led projects.  In the north of the Park, the V&A will open a new Collection and Research Centre at Here East. In the heart of this innovation district, the V&A will revolutionise access to the museum’s vast collection of art, design and performance.
    • The state-of-the-art BBC Music studios will provide a hub from which to celebrate music of all genres. It will be a new home for the BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Chorus, BBC singers and rock and pop recording facilities with access to the public for performances.
    • UCL will create a new campus, UCL East, providing multi-disciplinary research, teaching and innovation, in areas as diverse as robotics, smart cities, culture and conservation, for around 4,000 students.
     
  • A world-class cultural and education district requires world-class partners. East Bank will bring together renowned institutions that for decades, if not centuries, have been at the forefront of artistic excellence, learning, research, creativity, curatorship and public engagement.

    BBC

    A core purpose of the BBC is the performing, recording and broadcasting of live music across a full range of genres to the widest possible audience. The relocation of its music studios to East Bank is driven by this purpose and builds on the BBC’s role as Olympic Broadcaster. The new site will include state of the art recording facilities and will be the home of the world-renowned BBC Symphony Orchestra & Chorus and BBC Singers, with a substantial presence from the BBC Concert Orchestra. It will host recording sessions and live performances across all genres from global stars to emerging talent. These facilities, alongside an extensive programme of learning and outreach projects and collaborations with partners in the cultural district, will contribute to establishing east London as a world destination for music.

    Sadler's Wells

    Sadler’s Wells is a world-leading creative organisation dedicated to dance in all its forms. With over three centuries of theatrical heritage and a year-round programme of performances and learning activities, its goal is to motivate everyone to experience dance – to take part, learn, experiment and be inspired. Audiences of over half a million come to Sadler’s Wells’ London theatres each year, with many more enjoying its touring productions globally and online. Sadler’s Wells East will present the best UK and international work created for the mid-scale and offer life-changing training, development and learning opportunities through its choreographic centre, hip hop academy and participatory activities. This new space for dance will help to further develop the art form, reach wider audiences and establish London as the dance capital of the world.

    UAL's London College of Fashion

    Founded in 1906, London College of Fashion is a leader in fashion design, media and business education. Part of the University of the Arts London, it has been nurturing creative talent for over a century, offering courses in all things fashion. It encourages students to examine the past and challenge the present, to form their own ideas. 
    It gives them the skills, opportunities – and above all, the freedom – to put those ideas into practice. At Stratford Waterfront, digital developers will work alongside designers; psychologists will collaborate with image creators; and marketing theorists will join forces with curators. London College of Fashion, UAL will redefine what fashion is by connecting its range of disciplines for the first time and under one roof, and show London and the world what these possibilities look like.
     

    University College London

    UCL is recognised as one of the world’s top 10 universities and first in the UK for the strength of its research. Now, in the single biggest development since the university was founded nearly 200 years ago, UCL will create their new UCL East campus. Home to the new and pioneering, around 4,000 students and 260 academic staff will immerse themselves in issues of manufacturing, making, transport, artificial intelligence, sustainability, urbanisation, social inclusivity, and more. UCL’s two buildings will include cutting-edge laboratories and research space, state-of-the-art teaching facilities, student accommodation and accessible public spaces. The campus will break down conventional barriers across research, education, innovation and public engagement, and enable local collaborations with schools, charities and community organisations. As part of East Bank, UCL East will help to unlock the potential for Stratford and east London to become a world-class centre of achievement in science, technology, creativity and innovation.

    V&A

    The V&A East project will create two ambitious and complementary new sites at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. At Stratford Waterfront, a brand-new museum will stage exhibitions, events and collaborations and promote diverse ideas, voices and new work. As well as permanent V&A displays, it will host a pioneering partnership with the Smithsonian Institution – uniting the two museums and their collections for the first time. 10-minutes’ walk away at Here East, a world-class collection and research centre will open up the V&A’s extensive collections with unprecedented access to thousands of objects not currently on display. This major new resource will be a creative sourcebook for all, from school pupils and students, to makers, creatives and researchers, as well as local communities and businesses, and visitors from across the country and around the world.
     

    The Mayor of London

    The Mayor of London has provided £385 million of funding to inspire a whole new generation of Londoners to pursue their creative ambitions. This new creative cluster will bring together world-leading cultural and educational institutions to give young Londoners the chance to explore career opportunities, create jobs for local people and provide an economic boost for the capital.

    Foundation for Future London

    Foundation for FutureLondon fundraises for the people, places and organisations of the East Bank, London’s new innovation, arts, and creative quarter. It works with east London, London, UK and global partners, philanthropists and funding foundations to create real opportunities for our local communities. 

    London Legacy Development Corporation

    The London Legacy Development Corporation is the Mayor of London’s development corporation for Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the surrounding area. Working with the LLDC and with support for central government, the Mayor is working with local authorities, cultural businesses and venues, artists, creative entrepreneurs and civil society to make sure the full potential is realised for London and for Londoners. 

  • Autumn 2018 Planning application for Stratford Waterfront submitted
    Autumn 2018 Fashion District is launched
    2019 Construction starts on UCL East
    2019 Construction starts on Stratford Waterfront
    2022 – UCL East opens its first buildings to students
    2022 Sadler’s Wells and UAL’s London College of Fashion open
    2023 BBC Music and both V&A sites open, as well as UCL East’s second building

Planning consultation

Planning permission has now been granted for both the Stratford Waterfront and UCL East elements of East Bank.

You can view the planning applications on the Planning Register using reference number 18/00470/OUT for Stratford Waterfront and 17/00235/OUT for UCL East.
To keep up to date on the project, sign up for regular updates on how the scheme progresses through construction at stratfordwaterfront.commonplace.is
 

Sustainability

The principles of sustainability have been embedded from outset of the project, with a strong focus on healthy buildings and energy efficiency. The buildings are all targeting BREEAM Excellent.

The project is now onsite and environmental measures are embedded. Examples to date include:
  • On site, the team have upcycled construction materials such as cable reels into tables, pallets into planters and built a bug hotel and space for bee hives to encourage environmental activity on and around our site!
  • They are also working with start-ups such as After:Work, an award-winning social enterprise, on an ethical mission to reduce the amount of landfill by upcycling our used project PPE into wearable accessories.
  • They are using Day Old (a surplus food enterprise tackling both food waste and food poverty) to cater our team treats and team lunches. The orders help to save food from landfill and provide school lunches for children in need.