East Bank

Over the coming years, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will welcome new sites for Sadler’s Wells, BBC Music and the V&A (in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution), as well as University College London and University of the Arts London's London College of Fashion. The project will be known as East Bank, a brand new destination for London with world-class culture and education at its heart.

The ambition of the project is recognised in the new name - the East Bank - which will complement London's major cultural and education centres, such as the South Bank, the cluster of museums and academic institutions in South Kensington and the Knowledge Quarter around King's Cross and Bloomsbury.

  • East Bank will bring an additional 1.5 million visitors to the Park and surrounding area each year
  • More than 2,500 jobs will be created in East Bank, and an estimated £1.5 billion generation for the local economy
  • Sadler's Wells East will open a 550-seat theatre 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 campus, accommodating 6,500 students with their world-leading research community, business incubation and social enterpise centres
  • V&A East will display its world-famous collections at two sites with a new museum at Stratford Waterfront and the V&A Collection and Research at Here East
  • The Smithsonian Institution will establish a presence in London for the first time ever, in partnership with the V&A
  • The state of the art BBC music studios will provide a hub from which to celebrate music of all genres
  • UCL will create a new campus, UCL East, providing multi-disciplinary research, teaching and innovation, in areas such as robotics, smart cities, culture and conservation, for around 4,000 students
  • The 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games was much more than a triumphant event. Situated in a part of London that had suffered from generations of economic decline and neglect, it has catalysed public and private investment, enabled new infrastructure and housing, transformed the profile of the area and revitalised civic engagement. 

    East Bank, an internationally significant cultural and educational district for the area, is the next stage. Culture has always been an important element of the long-term plan, building upon the artistic vitality of east London, the legacy of the Cultural Olympiad and London’s fast-growing creative economy. World-class cultural institutions BBC Music, Sadler’s Wells and the V&A in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution will join world-renowned universities University College London (UCL) and London College of Fashion (University of the Arts London – UAL) to create a brand new creative district for London. Ambition and innovation are not new to this part of London, which has always been a place of firsts. Canals and lock gates opened early industry here. Rockets and bone china were first fired here and the trailblazing Joan Littlewood transformed theatre into a people’s palace at Stratford Theatre Royal.

    East Bank is set across the Park and between the fast-growing metropolitan centre of Stratford and the artistic hub at Hackney Wick. It will be among 24,000 homes and help to generate 40,000 jobs by 2025. Leading developers are helping to transform the area, with a mixed community of privately owned, rented and social housing, all within close distance to public transport. With meadows and woodland and iconic sports venues, as well as schools and health facilities, the cultural and social infrastructure will be in place for neighbourhoods to take root and prosper.

    • East Bank will bring an additional 1.5 million visitors to the Park and surrounding area each year
    • More than 2,500 jobs will be created in East Bank, and an estimated £1.5billion generated for the local economy
    • Sadler’s Wells East will open a 550-seat theatre 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 campus, accommodating 6,500 students with their world-leading research community, business incubation and social enterprise centres
    • V&A East will display its world-famous collections at two sites with a new museum at Stratford Waterfront and the V&A Collection and Research Centre at Here East
    • The Smithsonian Institution will establish a presence in London for the first time ever, in partnership with the V&A
    • The state of the art BBC music studios will provide a hub from which to celebrate music of all genres
    • UCL will create a new campus, UCL East, providing multi-disciplinary research, teaching and innovation, in areas such 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.

    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.


    The V&A East project will create two ambitious and complementary new sites in 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.

    Smithsonian Institution

    Since its founding in 1846, the Smithsonian Institution has been committed to inspiring generations through knowledge and discovery. The Smithsonian is the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex, consisting of 19 museums, the National Zoo, and nine research facilities, ranging from astrophysics to endangered species. With its partner the V&A, the Smithsonian will co-curate exhibitions on global issues, which will draw from each museum’s collections. The Smithsonian will also use the museum for temporary exhibitions, and work with all of the partners on public programs and novel research.

    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.


    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.

    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.

    Here East

    Here East is a campus for individuals and companies embracing and pioneering technology and creativity. It is designed as a place where start-ups and global established businesses co-exist and collaborate, supporting genuine innovation. Here East is already home to UCL, bringing together architects, engineers and computer scientists; and will now also host the V&A's Collection and Research Centre.  Currently, Here East has a number of creative and digital companies including Studio Wayne McGregor, online fashion retailer MATCHESFASHION.com, VR and 3D printing company Hobs Studio, video game developer Sports Interactive, and Signal Noise, Ford’s Smart Mobility Hub, BT Sport, Plexal, Scope, Ladbrokes Coral’s tech and innovation hub and Loughborough University London.

    Studio Wayne McGregor

    Studio Wayne McGregor is the creative hub for one of the world’s most celebrated choreographers, with two of the largest dance studios in London and creative programmes in dance, technology, film, music, visual art, science and fashion. The Studio’s FreeSpace programme is an innovative artist development scheme, supporting artists with free studio space, collaboration opportunities and offering educational programmes to the local communities.

    Hackney Wick & Fish Island

    A thriving industrial area in the 19th and 20th century, Hackney Wick and Fish Island is today home to artists and creative businesses. Said to have the highest concentration of artists in Europe, Hackney Wick hosts many artist studios, the award winning Yard Theatre and Hackney WickED summer arts festival. Proposals to develop a Creative Enterprise Zone are underway to secure more affordable studios and workspace so that artists and creatives can continue to put down roots here.


    Stratford has a vibrant cultural life with celebrated arts organisations. The historic Theatre Royal Stratford East was home to Joan Littlewood's company and continues to delight audiences along with performing arts venue Stratford Circus Arts Centre and Stratford Picturehouse. There is also the magical Discover Children’s Story Centre and other leading arts organisations including East London Dance, Bow Arts and Rosetta Arts Centre.

    Fashion District

    Strengthening London’s position as the global capital of fashion technology this district for fashion will bring together innovation, technology, business and education. Led by UAL’s London College of Fashion, UAL it brings together fashion focused organisations including British Fashion Council, the UK Fashion and Textiles Association and Westfield, as well as Poplar HARCA and The Trampery. It will provide affordable workspace, access to investment, skills development and networking for the fashion industry, having recently gained £1.9m investment from the Mayor’s Good Growth Fund.

    Sugar House Island

    Sugar House Island will be home to the UK’s first talent house for urban culture. Led by Urban Development and East London Dance, it will offer space for young musicians, singer songwriters, composers, dancers, choreographers and producers and support progression into the creative industries. It will be an incubation centre for new talent and creative enterprises. The new centre has received £1m support from the Mayor’s Good Growth Fund.

  • Olivia Mathurin-Essandoh

    Olivia is one of seven young people on paid six-month placements at leading London cultural arts organisations through the Shared Training and Employment Programme (STEP – a programme offering paid employment to residents of east London).

    She enjoys outreach work, where she uses her creative energies to work with the community and share what she’s learnt with her peers. She is midway through a digital creative marking internship at Rosetta Arts Centre and won the 2017 Quentin Blake Narrative Drawing Prize.

    “The placement developed my professionalism and opened my eyes to the opportunities that are out there. It makes me so happy to see people who are not traditionally expected to be in the creative sector enjoying positions in the arts.”


    Serina Lopez

    Serina’s interests span illustration, fashion and community arts projects, but she hadn’t had a chance to take her first step in the creative sector. For Serina, STEP has come at just the right time, with an internship at Sadler’s Wells helping her move into employment and find a route into the creative industries. 

    “I’ve spent the first six months in the Visitor Experience team and am currently working in the Producing and Touring department. I’ve struggled in the past with self-confidence issues but STEP has given me the boost I needed to get paid work and develop my career potential.”

    Adeena Arif

    Adeena attended Mulberry school for Girls in Tower Hamlets. She started her studies in Architecture in September 2016 at Ravensbourne University and secured a placement with UCL East design partners, architects Stanton Williams, which she  was able to do during her summer holidays. As part of this, Adeena worked on a project refurbishing one of the galleries in the British Museum. 

    “I jumped at the chance to do a work placement with Stanton Williams. It gave me a great opportunity to get professional experience on a high-profile project.”


  • East Bank is far more than just the co-location of cultural institutions. It brings together educational and research excellence, curatorship, design expertise, performance, studios, event space, cutting-edge technologies, heritage collections, entrepreneurs, artistic programming and much more. Its full potential will lie in the opportunities it generates for innovation and new collaborations,  and already partners are working on projects of real benefit to London’s creative economy and local communities.

    The Fashion District

    The Fashion District is a hub for fashion innovation in east London. With a third of the capital’s fashion designers already based in east London, this collaborative strategy will help fashion technology and manufacturing businesses to grow, creating new opportunities and a lasting legacy. Led by UAL’s London College of Fashion, together with industry and educational partners, the Fashion District has had significant investment from the Mayor of London’s Good Growth Fund to provide workspace, a programme of business coaching, finance initiatives and innovation networks. The Fashion District will also boost fashion skills through a network of training providers, helping to revive east London’s fashion heritage and strengthening London’s position as the global capital of fashion technology.

    Global Disability Innovation Hub

    The Global Disability Innovation Hub was borne out the legacy of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. It is a leading voice on disability innovation and design. Teams were selected to come to London to develop their disability ideas into new products and services and over an intensive two-week period early stage concepts were transformed into prototypes, business plans and viable products. Working alongside industry leaders, mentors and disabled people, the teams refined their concepts to develop impactful low-cost solutions with the potential to make a global impact. Led by UCL, it’s a collaboration with London College of Fashion, V&A, Sadler’s Wells, Loughborough University London, Leonard Cheshire Disability and The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design. In 2017, it hosted Enable Makeathon 2.0, combining expertise in the fields of humanitarian action, disability, entrepreneurship and technology.

    Mossbourne Riverside Academy Dance Pilot

    Learning to dance improves physical and mental wellbeing, increases confidence, cognitive development, social awareness and academic achievement. Ahead of opening the doors of its new venue in 2022, Sadler’s Wells is working with Mossbourne Riverside Academy, a primary school on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, to embed dance within local children’s education. Weekly dance classes in different styles, an after-school club, sessions for teachers and workshops for parents are all delivered by dance professionals working in collaboration on the project, including East London Dance, Sadler’s Wells’ Associate Company English National Ballet and Studio Wayne McGregor.

    Since January, there have already been 900 attendances at 35 dance sessions, with the long-term aim of offering support to teachers and pupils as they progress over the next 10 years.


    EAST-Education is building a distinctive approach to raising aspiration and attainment in children and young people, predicated on creativity, inquiry and technology. The east London area has one of the youngest populations in the country and this is expected to grow over the next 10 years. East Bank will ensure that this generation benefit from the economic transformation of the area as well as creativity and innovation. EAST-Education will ensure that children and young people have the skills, knowledge and confidence in arts, science  and technology with pilot activities including a Summer School in 2018 that will allow them to create, innovate and experiment by combining areas such as fashion, technology, science and the arts.

  • Summer 2018 Final designs for Stratford Waterfront and details of planning application published
    Autumn 2018 Planning application for Stratford Waterfront submitted
    Autumn 2018 Fashion District is launched
    2019 Construction starts on UCL East
    2020 Construction starts on Stratford Waterfront
    2021 UCL East opens its first buildings to students
    2022 Sadler’s Wells, BBC Music, UAL’s London College of Fashion and UCL East’s second building open
    2023 Both V&A sites including the partnership with Smithsonian Institution opens
  • Stratford Waterfront

    To see the final masterplan and building designs and sign up for regular updates on how the scheme progresses visit stratfordwaterfront/commonplace.is. In the meantime, you can find our more about the previous consultation undertaken in summer 2018 and autumn 2017 in the following reports: summer 2018 and autumn 2017.

    Previous consultation

    During 2016, LLDC, along with the design team for Stratford Waterfront and partners, undertook a programme of consultation to inform the design of the project. The feedback received during the previous programme has informed the design work to date and since the consultation concluded in autumn 2016, the revised plans for the site have resulted in the project story you can read about below.

    To read the previous consultation reports, please follow the links below:

    • Stage 1 consultation report here
    • Stage 2 consultation report here
    • Stage 3 consultation report here and appendices here


    UCL East

    UCL has now completed its consultation programme for UCL East Phase 1 which involved a number of exhibitions during 2017 and 2018. Details of the programme activity can be found in the following consultation reports:

    UCL is now working towards submitting its planning application for UCL East Phase 1 this summer. For more information and to stay informed of the project, please visit www.ucl.ac.uk/ucl-east/getting-involved

    UCL East Outline Masterplan

    The Planning Application for UCL East was approved in May 2018. The application was comprised of a number of plans, drawings and documents and asummary of the purpose of the different documents and plans can be viewed here.

    The application can be viewed on the Planning Register using reference number 17/00235/OUT

    Full details of the consultation programme can be found at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/ucl-east/getting-involved

    University College London (UCL) has submitted detailed planning applications for phase 1 of UCL East. A copy of their newsletter can be viewed here.