Backers' £45m for Olympicopolis

Mayor launches drive for more.

Private backers have so far pledged £45m of a target of £180m to the scheme to turn the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park into a cultural estate including elements of the V&A, Sadler’s Wells, the University of the Arts and University College London, Mayor Boris Johnson announced tonight.

A legacy of the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, Olympicopolos, as Johnson has dubbed it, already has £141m promised by Chancellor George Osborne. It will, he said, create 3,000 jobs, attract 1.5m visitors a year and boost the local economy of Stratford East by £2.8 billion.

The total cost is estimated at £800m and work is due to start on the site, on Stratford Waterfront next to the Aquatics Centre and the ArcelorMittal Orbit, in 2018.

The project is being led by the newly created Foundation for FutureLondon of which Sir William Castell, formerly of the Wellcome Foundation, has been announced as chair.

“Olympicopolis is a project with enormous scale, vision and ambition” Castell (pictured) said tonight. “It is investing over £1bn to deliver access to the very best in education, technology and the arts, for the people of east London, enhancing the incredible cultural life already there.

“Following the Chancellor’s investment last year, there is huge interest and excitement in the project.”

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