Olympic Park’s £1bn digital business hub set to boost Tech City cluster

iCITY to invest £100m more to transform existing Olympic press and broadcast centres into enterprise campus

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Mayor of London Boris Johnson today announced the final Olympic venue deal has been secured promising a £450m boost to the UK’s GDP and up to 6,500 new jobs.

In association with the London Legacy Development Corporation, iCITY – the real estate and data centre joint venture responsible for the Press and Broadcast Centres – has pledged to invest a further £100m into transforming the current site into a creative and digital business hub.

The major investment into the location used for press and broadcasting during the Olympics will come from real estate investment and advisory business Delancey and data centre operator Infinity SDC, which will provide its services from the Park.

It takes the total outlay against the site to £1bn, which includes construction costs of £297m, along with £500m generated from infinity clients and £270m from secured tenants.

iCITY expects the development to generate a £340m contribution to the local economy along with 4,500 new jobs on its site and a further 2,000 in the area surrounding the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

It will ultimately feature three main buildings: a 300,000 square foot innovation centre; a 750 seat auditorium; and a 650,000 square foot building housing educational space, broadcast studios, office space, and a state-of-the-art data centre.

Tenants already on board include BT Sport, Loughborough University, and Hackney Community College. TechHub, the start-up community and workspace created by TechCrunch Europe editor Mike Butcher and CEO Elizabeth Varley, will also build on its Tech City presence, where it is backed by Google and other partners.

The hub for technology entrepreneurs will create an accelerator and incubator space for start-ups within the iCITY confines. Further details have yet to be announced but iCITY spokespeople insisted that the business park will offer affordable space for start-ups.

To continue to breed a fast-growth, innovative, tech business culture in the UK, iCITY will amount to an extension of Tech City, claimed mayor Boris Johnson and will house both start-up and established businesses to promote successful enterprise.

Mayor of Hackney, Jules Pipe, concurred: “We’re encouraging a swathe of tech, starting in Shoreditch, travelling through Hackney and culminating in iCITY. It’s about synergy and creating a space where start-ups can grow.”

Responding to a question from Startups.co.uk, mayor Johnson was positive the new digital community would not only encourage Silicon Valley investments, but potentially create businesses that would rival existing large US tech companies: “There’s no reason at all why this area shouldn’t be the home of not just small start-ups but fast-growth companies.

“Why is it that this country hasn’t produced an Amazon or a Google or a Facebook? The answer is, there is no reason why. It’s going to happen and I wouldn’t be surprised if it happens in iCITY.”

Richard Gibbs, business development director for iCITY, added: “The iCITY proposal is slighter easy to understand if you come from that side of the pond. They understand the campus nature of the nature of the space.”

“We’re working very closely with American investors and I look to go out again this summer. We have some impressive, strong, leading innovation here and I’m confident we can secure some long-term partnerships.”


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