Earls Court & Olympia (EC&O) has officially opened its new-look West Hall following a £20m redevelopment initiative.
The West Hall now offers 8,361sqm of space across two floors plus connecting links into the Grand Hall and Olympia Two. According to venue owner Capital and Counties (CapCo), the improvements will make Olympia more flexible and improve connectivity throughout the facility.
The first show to run in the new hall is the London International Horse Show, which opens today (13 December). The new-look West Hall will also play host to the 2012 Exhibition News Awards on 29 March 2012.
“Our vision for Olympia respects the fabric of this historic building while also making the internal space easier to access and more flexible for organisers to use,” EC&O group MD Nigel Nathan said. “These enhancements protect our heritage and position the Olympia complex for the future.”
“We are grateful for all the support and patience we have received from our neighbours during this construction phase.”
Association of Event Organiser (AEO) CEO Karim Halwagi welcomed the hall enhancements as a positive step for the exhibition industry to help small and large shows grow.
“Large shows will be able to get better utilisation and visitor flows while small shows will have more flexibility to expand,” he said.
Leader of London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham Cllr Stephen Greenhalgh also flagged the importance of Olympia for generating income for local businesses.
“The Olympia Exhibition and Conference Centre, contributes to the West London economy, brings continued prosperity for Hammersmith and Fulham and receives great support from the surrounding community,” he said. “I am delighted to see it enter a new phase in its impressive history.”
The West Hall opening coincides with the Mayor of London’s rejection of CapCo’s redevelopment plans for the Earls Court exhibition centres and site after the masterplan failed to meet a series of policies under the London Plan strategy.
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