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A creative future for the Media Centre - as a Storage Unit!

Anna Harding of Space Studios recently described the Media Centre as a 'darned insult to Hackney'. Now the London Assembly Economic Development, Culture, Sport and Tourism Committee has issued a report that reinforces her criticism. It says 'The East London Business Alliance has worked with a number of media companies considering plans for the media centre, and reported complaints about narrow pillar spacings, low ceilings, the roof being too weak to support rigging equipment and the lack of central heating, which would reduce its attractiveness to tenants from the industry.'

That's certainly insulting, especially as the Centre will cost the taxpayer an estimated £308million.

That's just for starters. The report goes on 'Elements introduced to the IBC by broadcasters such as studio facilities, cabling during the Games will not be retained after 2012, and therefore there will need to be significant work by any future developer or tenant to prepare the space, especially if it is to be used on a permanent basis as a media production site.'

So not only will future tenants have to cope with the poor design, they will also need to do extensive work before the Centre can be adapted for the hoped for creative occupants. The Committee referred back to Ms Harding: 'Anna Harding, Chief Executive of Space Studios, which was a partner in a bid to develop the media centre initially, told the Committee that developers would not be willing to take on the centre without this additional funding.'

And where's the money going to come from? The Committee points out baldly: 'The OPLC has not yet been allocated a budget for its post-2012 regeneration programmes.'

So what are the options?

The Committee observes: 'The OPLC might be able to achieve higher short-term returns on public investment if the media centre is open to tenants from any industry, regardless of the number of jobs being created, and the highest rental income possible is sought. This is especially the case if the post-2012 adaptations are minimised and therefore require less additional funding.'

So what exactly do they have in mind?

'Some types of business, such as storage – a use which has been proposed to the OPLC103 – may require less extensive adaptations.'

So the 'darned insult' may become a furniture store!

GLA cttee report on stadium and media centre FINAL1 - Legacy United.pdf688.73 KB

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