Green light for £1BN Olympia London plans

Planning permission granted to transform iconic 133-year-old landmark into an arts, entertainment, events and creative business quarter.

A £1bn project to turn Olympia London into a world-leading cultural hub has been approved by planners. YOO Capital and Deutsche Finance International – which own the historic exhibition centre – submitted plans to Hammersmith & Fulham Council last summer to turn the 14-acre site into a destination with leading hotels and restaurants, plus performance venues and state-of-the-art office space. 

Award-winning practices Heatherwick Studio and SPPARC are leading on the design and implementation of the project, which will also see 2.5 acres of new public space created. The transformation is set to begin in 2020, with the first tenants expected to move in by 2023. YOO Capital and Deutsche Finance International are in advanced talks with some of the biggest names in entertainment and hospitality about taking space on the enhanced site. 

The project will create more than 3,000 new construction jobs over the next five years in addition to approximately 5,400 new jobs for the borough when it is completed. It will also bring in an extra £9m per year in consumer spending to Hammersmith & Fulham. 

Key features of the project include: 

  • 1,500-seat theatre
  • A 1,000-seat performing arts venue
  • Two hotels
  • A four-screen cinema
  • 670,000 sq ft of creative office space, including new co-working space
  • Upgrades to the existing spaces to turn Olympia London into one of the world’s top exhibition and event centres
  • A 200,000 sq ft logistics centre

Chairman of YOO Capital John Hitchcox said: “Not only is this great news for London – it’s also an example of a British project with European investment creating jobs and opportunities in spite of the current economic and political climate.  

“We are proud to announce this plan and press ‘Go’ on a £1bn project that will transform Olympia London into a global force in arts, entertainment, exhibitions and events."

“We will achieve all of this with minimal disruption to the hundreds of inspirational events that will continue to take place at Olympia London during the transformation.” 

Gavin Neilan, Co-Founding Partner of DFI, commented: “We are delighted to announce that planning consent has been granted for our £1bn transformation of Olympia London and look forward to working with our partners to support the exhibition business and unlock the tremendous potential within the iconic estate.” 

Already home to more than 200 events and welcoming 1.6 million visitors every year, Olympia London has championed the arts for generations – from being one of London’s first cinemas to hosting Vivienne Westwood’s first fashion show. 

Nigel Nathan, MD, Olympia London, added: “As the jewel in the crown of our industry, Olympia London has created lifelong memories for millions of people and with this investment, we will continue to do so whilst retaining our portfolio of events. Today marks the start of an exciting new chapter in Olympia London's rich history.”

Chris Skeith, CEO, Association of Event Organisers (AEO) concluded: “It’s excellent news for the events community that planning permission has been granted for this iconic, world-class venue. Olympia London has been home to some of the UK’s leading shows for decades, and we’re excited to continue hosting events both throughout the refurbishment and beyond.”

Olympia London has confirmed that the venue will remain open throughout the works.