Mayor unveils £1.1bn vision for East Bank

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, today set out his £1.1bn vision for East Bank at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park – a new powerhouse of culture, education, innovation and growth, and welcomed a £151m contribution now secured by the Government.

Sadiq unveiled new plans and building designs for Sadler’s Wells, London College of Fashion (part of University of the Arts London) and the V&A including a partnership with the Smithsonian Institution, across Stratford Waterfront.

He revealed that the BBC will join the list of prestigious institutions that make up the area, to create a new home for the world-renowned BBC Symphony Orchestra & Chorus and BBC Singers, with a substantial presence from the BBC Concert Orchestra as well as state-of-the-art recording facilities to host recording sessions and live performances across all genres from global stars to emerging talent. The BBC will also bring the Proms to the area, with both performances and opportunities for young people from east London to participate in choirs and ensembles. 

The Mayor also announced that at least 50 per cent of new homes across the remaining development sites on the Park – Stratford Waterfront, Pudding Mill and Rick Roberts Way - will be affordable, in line with the Mayor’s commitment that all sites he disposes of will be at least 50 per cent affordable.

East Bank will also be home to a new site for UCL (University College London), creating a new and pioneering campus, UCL East.

East Bank will be spread across three sites – UCL East (UCL’s new campus), Stratford Waterfront (BBC, the V&A including a partnership with the Smithsonian Institution, Sadler’s Wells and UAL’s London College of Fashion) and Here East (the V&A's new Collection and Research Centre, and an existing space for UCL).

The scheme, which is receiving £385m from the Mayor, will provide skills and jobs for local people, bring over 10,000 students to the site, and attract thousands of visitors from London and beyond. Inspired by the success of the South Bank in transforming a location through world class art and learning opportunities, East Bank will help to cement the capital’s reputation as a world leader in culture, education and innovation.

The building designs unveiled today for Stratford Waterfront have been completely redesigned by architects Allies and Morrison, O’Donnell + Tuomey, and Camps Felip Arquitecturia following detailed public consultation, to develop a brand-new masterplan for the site including a V&A museum design inspired in part by the work of the fashion designer Balenciaga. Public consultation on the new masterplan continues from Saturday 9 June.

East Bank will build on the area’s existing creative credentials, and East Bank partners have been building relationships and delivering projects 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, Studio Wayne McGregor and many more. 

UAL’s London College of Fashion is leading on the development of a Fashion District, a hub for fashion innovation in East London, which will launch in the Autumn and partners have also been working with local schools to develop an East Education strategy to raise awareness, aspiration and attainment amongst young east Londoners. 

As part of this ongoing programme of work, the partners will also host Open Doors: Vote 100 at Here East on 22 July, a day of free entertainment for the local community and the first event jointly devised by all partners. 

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Great cities are defined by their ambition as much as their achievements - East Bank is the most ambitious new project of its kind for decades. I have made culture, innovation and growth a top priority, and as London’s centre of gravity extends east, I’m delighted that we’re placing culture and education at the heart of this development and the Olympic legacy.

“My vision for East Bank is one where everyone, regardless of their background, can access world-class culture and education on their doorstep. East Bank is a fantastic collaboration of inter-disciplinary work and world-class institutions that will drive forward growth and inspire more young Londoners to take up creative careers, transforming the communities of east London.”

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government today confirmed £151million has been secured to deliver East Bank, creating 1,500 jobs, £1.5 billion of economic benefit and 600 new homes.  

Communities Secretary, Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP, said: “I am delighted to confirm the Government’s financial support for this exciting project. Building on the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic legacy, this ambitious scheme will create an exciting new cultural hub in East London. East Bank is also about creating new opportunities and innovation to drive greater prosperity for this area and help change lives. Through this multi-million pound contribution Government is helping to bring these exceptional institutions and thousands of jobs to the area. It will deliver a huge boost to the local economy and a renewed vision for East London.”

Sir Peter Hendy CBE, Chair of LLDC, said: “Today’s East Bank announcement will result in the vision and ambition of all the partners brought to life in the years to come creating jobs and opportunities for local people. The partners are already collaborating on projects and building lasting links with the huge pool of talent that exists in the local community. My thanks go to everyone involved whose efforts and endeavours will deliver so much in the future.”

Justine Simons OBE, Deputy Mayor for Culture and Creative Industries, said: “East Bank represents the most significant single investment in London’s culture since the legacy of the 1851 Great Exhibition, and will shape the cultural life of the city for the 21st century and beyond. Today’s announcement is a major step forward in realising one of the most ambitious culture projects the capital has ever seen.” 

East Bank is supported by the City of London‎ with £1m to begin delivering activity in east London over the next five years; the project is also supported on a pro-bono basis by Bloomberg Philanthropies.