Baroness Lola Young and Sir David Bell have been appointed as the new co-chairs of the Foundation for Future London (FFL), the charity set up to realise the opportunities of the East Bank culture and education district on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Last month, the Mayor of London set out the £1.1bn vision for the new powerhouse of culture, education, innovation and growth at the London Aquatics Centre.
Their appointments were announced as the new co-chairs attended the free “Open Doors Vote 100” event at Here East on 22 July to celebrate 100 years of women’s suffrage. Local residents and visitors enjoyed a day of dance, music, poetry, debates, workshops and screenings delivered by the East Bank partners: the BBC, Sadler’s Wells, the V&A including a partnership with the Smithsonian Institution, University College London and UAL’s London College of Fashion.
East Bank will create a new powerhouse of culture, education, innovation and growth spread across three sites on the Park. FFL will work alongside the East Bank partners to forge links with the thriving arts, fashion and community organisations based in the area including the artistic community in Hackney Wick, East London Dance, Theatre Royal Stratford East and Studio Wayne McGregor.
To help achieve this, the charity has been tasked with securing significant philanthropic funds, in addition to the independent fundraising efforts of the East Bank partners.
Commenting on the appointments, Justine Simons, Deputy Mayor for Culture and the Creative Industries, said: “East Bank will transform the life of our city by providing greater access to world-class culture and education to Londoners from all backgrounds. It is one of the most ambitious culture projects the capital has ever seen, and I’m delighted that Lola and David will be bringing their significant skills and experience to help drive this visionary scheme forward.”
Marie Gabriel, Interim Chair, Foundation for FutureLondon, said “We are very fortunate to have two such excellent candidates on board, who will make more than double the impact. Lola and David bring a diverse range of complementary skills, knowledge, experience and contacts to our charity and they will help to deliver great things for the people of east London. I would also like to thank Sir William Castell, our former chair, for his sterling work in steering the Foundation through its formative years.”
Baroness Lola Young said: “This wonderful destination has clearly demonstrated its popularity with local people and visitors to the area. We now have a once in a generation opportunity to develop the cultural offer even further in ways that will engage and interact with our east London communities and beyond. I am delighted to be embarking on this venture with Sir David Bell whose experience open-mindedness and extraordinary range of networks will be invaluable. We’re both very excited at the prospect of contributing towards developing a very special mix of creative, cultural and educational programmes and activities of which we can all be proud.”
Sir David Bell said: “I have been enormously impressed by the way Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is developing as a new ‘jewel’ for London whose impact will be felt far into the future. So I am pleased and honoured to be a given a chance to work with a group of amazing partners to help the new East Bank quarter to become a unique and exciting cultural powerhouse as the centre of gravity of the city continues to move to the east. It is also a great pleasure to have a chance to work with Baroness Lola Young, whose energy, experience and creativity are phenomenal.”
Please click here for images of Baroness Lola Young and Sir David Bell. Please credit Georgia Metaxas as photographer.
For more information contact the Press Office at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on +44 (0) 20 3734 9010 or email [email protected]