Earls Court and Olympia has confirmed it is taking exhibition bookings at Earls Court in September 2012.
The news coincides with the local launch of Capital and Counties (CapCo)’s masterplan for development of the 77-acre site incorporating the Earls Court exhibition centres, which will be on display for public consultation between 18 to 21 March. As well as Earls Court, the masterplan site includes the Seagrove Road car park, railway lands, West Kensington and Gibbs Green housing estates.
Although Earls Court’s closure is dependent on CapCo getting planning approval, EC&O previously only confirmed bookings up until the 2012 Olympics. Commercial director Anna Golden said the company is now working with several organisers on September events in both Earls Court 1 and 2.
For the first time, CapCo’s masterplan exhibition reveals the detailed seven-phased approach the company plans to take should it gain building approval for the full 77-acre site. This proposes the demolition of Earls Court 1 Exhibition Centre in Q3, 2012 as part of phase two. The first phase involves redevelopment of the Seagrove Road car park for both residential and commercial use.
However, proposed work on the area incorporating Earls Court 2 isn’t expected to commence until at least 2015, raising questions on whether EC&O can continue to take bookings in that venue until then.
Golden told EN the potential use of Earls Court 2 as a standalone facility is being investigated, but pointed out the venue was reliant on Earls Court 1 for many essential services including power and catering. In addition, development on other areas within the 77-acre site could also hinder logistics and visitor footfall.
CapCo will submit its masterplan for planning approval in June. In the meantime, work has begun on the £20m redevelopment of the Olympia site including the expanded and enhanced West Hall.
The plans for Earls Court were also show at the MIPIM property event at Cannes last week. CapCo owns approximately 40 per cent of the total 77-acre site including the Earls Court and Olympia venues. Other stakeholders are Transport for London and the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham.
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