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Sadiq Khan unveils vision for £1.1bn ‘cultural powerhouse’ at Olympic Park

Arts organisations based at the new site include the V&A, Sadler's Wells, BBC and University of the Arts London Arts organisations at the new site include the V&A, Sadler's Wells, BBC and University of the Arts London
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Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is to invest £385 million in a new cultural quarter being developed in east London.

The £1.1 billion project, formerly known as Olympicopolis but now rebranded as East Bank, is situated in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. It will house a mid-scale dance theatre for Sadler’s Wells as well as a campus for the University of the Arts London and an east London venue for the Victoria and Albert museum.

Sadler’s Wells artistic director Alistair Spalding said the new theatre would “change how dance artists are prepared for the making process and support the course of creation in a way that does not currently exist, particularly for artists in their early careers”.

The BBC is the latest organisation to be announced as part of the project. The BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus and BBC Singers will be making East Bank their home, while the BBC Concert Orchestra will also have a substantial presence at East Bank, and studios will be built to host recording sessions and live performances across all genres.

Additionally, the Corporation plans bring the BBC Proms to the area, with performances and opportunities for young people from east London to participate in choirs and ensembles.

As well as the new investment from the mayor, the government has confirmed it will support the project with a grant of £151 million.

Khan described the project as “a new powerhouse of culture, education, innovation and growth”.

He said: “Great cities are defined by their ambition as much as their achievements, and East Bank is the most ambitious new project of its kind for decades.

“I have made culture, innovation and growth a top priority, and as London’s centre of gravity extends east, I’m delighted that we’re placing culture and education at the heart of this development and the Olympic legacy.”

The mayor also revealed redesigned building plans for the development by architects Allies and Morrison, O’Donnell and Tuomey, and Camps Felip Arquitecturia following detailed public consultation, to develop a new masterplan for the site.

The next stage of public consultation on the new masterplan for the Stratford Waterfront – which will be home to Sadler’s Wells and the V&A – will open on June 9. The first of the site’s completed venues is expected to open its doors in 2020.

Khan has pledged that at least 50% of new homes across the remaining development sites on the park – Stratford Waterfront, Pudding Mill and Rick Roberts Way – will be affordable.

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