Earls Court & Olympia Venues has reopened Olympia’s West Hall for exhibition business after a significant remodelling exercise, as owners EC&O secure a concession from TfL on the closure of the weekday tube service.
Olympia’s redeveloped West Hall has reopened as a two-storey, 90,000 square feet exhibition facility by adding a floor and creating links to the Grand Hall and Olympia Two behind the restored façade. The improvements, designed by architets Collado Collins, and part of a £20 million investment in Olympia by EC&O’s parent company, Capital & Counties (Capco), will make Olympia more flexible and improve connectivity throughout the facility.
Nigel Nathan, EC&O Venues Managing Director said: “Our vision for Olympia respects the fabric of this historic building whilst also making the internal space easier to access and more flexible for organisers to use. These enhancements protect our heritage and position the Olympia complex for the future.”
“Of course, Olympia is not only a world class venue: it is also a local business employing local people. We are grateful for all the support and patience we have received from our neighbours during this construction phase. We are delighted to see the facility open in time for the ever popular London International Horse Show at Olympia which starts on 13 December.”
Karim Halwagi, Chief Executive of the Association of Event Organisers (AEO), believes these enhancements will help stimulate the London event market.
He said: “The expansion of space at Olympia is a positive step for the exhibition industry as it will help both large and small shows grow. Large shows will be able to get better utilisation and visitor flows while small shows will have more flexibility to expand.”
Cllr Stephen Greenhalgh, Leader of London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, welcomed the completion of the works.
He said: “The Olympia Exhibition and Conference Centre generates income for local businesses, contributes to the West London economy, brings continued prosperity for Hammersmith and Fulham and receives great support from the surrounding community. I am delighted to see it enter a new phase in its impressive history.”
Completion of the new West Hall comes as EC&O Venues concludes negotiations with Transport for London (TfL) to secure weekday tube services for over twenty shows between January and June 2012, despite the already announed cessation of that service by TfL