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£100m revamp for Olympic media centre

The Olympic Park’s press and broadcast centres are set for an £100m transformation.

iCity – a joint venture between real estate investment specialist Delancey and data centre operator Infinity SDC – was set up to manage the conversion of the £297m centre into a digital and creative hub.

The redeveloped press and broadcast facilities will feature three main buildings: a 300,000 sq ft innovation centre, a 750-seat auditorium and a 650,000 sq ft building housing offices, studios and educational space.

Delancey development manager Richard Palmer told Construction News the “bulk of the work” will be in redeveloping the 650,000 sq ft broadcast centre.

Mr Palmer said Delancey would start pre-qualifying contractors “shortly”, which will be followed by a two-stage tender.

Work will involve stripping the shed back to the steel structure and re-cladding three sides of the building to insert windows. A mezzanine level will also be built inside the building to create more office space.

“The buildings that you see – we’re not knocking them down, but we are going to comletely change the look and feel of them.”

iCity chief executive Gavin Poole

Mr Palmer said the press centre is a “ready-to-go office” and will be up and running while construction work takes place on the rest of the site.

Including fit-out, the redevelopment will be worth “in excess of £100m”, he added.

Delancey expects to submit its planning application “in late summer”. It hopes to receive approval within a year and commence the two-year build period in May/June 2014.

iCity chief executive Gavin Poole told Construction News: “The buildings that you see: we’re not knocking them down, but we are going to completely change the look and feel of them.”

The deal is expected to create more than 4,500 jobs on site and 2,000 more in the community, while generating in excess of £450m in GDP nationally.

Infinity clients are said to have invested around £500m in the centre, along with a further £270m from secured tenants including BT Sport, Loughborough University, Hackney Community College and Infinity SDC.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “It’s absolutely fantastic news that the final piece of the Olympic venues jigsaw puzzle has now been firmly put in place.

“With the future of eight out of eight permanent venues secure, London has well and truly delivered on what is a hugely important part of the Olympic legacy story.”

Mr Poole added that what amounts to a billion-pound investment provides significant jobs, training and education opportunities, and is central to the ongoing regeneration of east London.

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