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London’s Olympia exhibition centre to add 1,500-seat theatre in £700m ‘creative hub’ plans

Architect's impression of the redeveloped Olympia exhibition centre in west London Architect's impression of the redeveloped Olympia exhibition centre in west London
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A new 1,500 seat theatre is planned for the Olympia exhibition centre in west London as part of a £700 million redevelopment.

The theatre will be part of 73,000 sq ft in the redeveloped Olympia to be dedicated to the performing arts. It will also include a second performing arts venue, but further details have yet to be announced.

Olympia is known for hosting trade fairs and events including the BBC Good Food Show and the Olympia London International Horse Show, and has also staged large-sale music concerts and boxing matches.

Working with design practice Heatherwick Studio and architects SPPARC, owners Deutsche Finance and Yoo Capital now plan to turn the West Kensington event space into a “leading creative industries hub”.

The redevelopment will also add hotels, restaurants and cinemas to the site.

The proposals aim to enhance the public space at the 130-year-old exhibition centre by dedicating at least 2.5 acres to this purpose and adding more green spaces.

About 600,000 sq ft of creative offices and studios will be created at the centre, as well as 70,000 sq ft of co-working spaces.

The plans are being shown at Olympia before a planning application is submitted in September. John Hitchcox, chairman of Yoo Capital, said: “As caretakers of Olympia London, we are investing to protect this iconic site and promote it on the global stage as a world-leading destination for the creative industries. These proposals reflect consultations and discussions with our community to ensure we create an exciting and inspirational venue with unparalleled facilities.”

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