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Olympic mayor demands media input on centre

The mayor of one of the five Olympic boroughs has said media organisations should be involved in the design of the media centre.

Hackney mayor Jules Pipe told the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee that if his borough is to attract creative and media organisations to use the buildings after the 2012 Games and create high quality local jobs, the industry must be involved in the design of the centre.

Mayor Pipe said it was "absolutely vital" the consortia chosen to build the media centre and the Olympic Delivery Authority talk to broadcasters and recording industry contacts "because they are saying to us they are not going to be interested in taking on that venue afterwards if they have not had some input into the spec".

Carillion and French firm Bouygues are heading up the remaining teams chasing the £200 million contract. The centre is one of the ‘big four’ permanent venues and construction is due to start next year.

During the Olympics, the media centre will accommodate 20,000 broadcasters, journalists and photographers before being converted afterwards into 130,000 sq m of commercial premises.

Mayor Pipe said the digital and creative media industries "want somewhere new where the location is right, it is accessible and all the power supplies are there, and all the support they need”.

He added: "This location, the International Broadcast Centre/Main Press Centre and the surrounding areas, is absolutely ideal for that but we will lose the opportunity for that to happen if the ODA do not do as they have committed they will do."

The London host boroughs of Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest were presenting evidence to the Government Select Committee on preparations for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012.

The evidence was submitted on behalf of all five host boroughs, including Greenwich.