Food quarter to open at former Olympic site


Virtual development plan for Canalside Pic: Here East

A food-lovers’ hotspot is the latest addition to a 1.2 million square foot technology and business park in Hackney Wick on the site of the 2012 former Olympic press centre.

Canalside, which is due to open next month, is the latest stage in the rebranding of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, which developers Here East claim could generate up to 7,500 new jobs.

The £300 million former press and broadcast centre has been one of the most challenging sites to find a purpose for following the 2012 Games. Now Here East says it has given the site new life, alongside BT Sport, a campus for Loughborough University and a giant data centre.

The first wave of 12 restaurants and bars that will open in the Canalside food quarters include The Breakfast Club, The Bicycle Man, Gotto, Randy’s Wing Bar, and Shane’s on Canalside. More will be confirmed in the summer.

Gavin Poole, CEO of Here East, said: “We are delighted to welcome our first phase of independent retailers to Canalside. As well as providing excellent facilities for the 5,000 innovators and makers who will be based at Here East, it will also create a fantastic new retail destination for Londoners and visitors alike.”

Jonathan Arana-Morton, founder of The Breakfast Club, said: “With two cafes already in East London, a move to Hackney Wick feels very much in our comfort zone. There’s a community atmosphere from the concentration of artists’ studios and media and tech spaces and we are first and foremost a neighbourhood cafe.”

Jules Pipe, Mayor of the London Borough of Hackney said the opening of Canalside would have a positive impact on the Hackney community. He said: “I’m pleased to see both home-grown Hackney businesses and other independent London retailers choose to make Here East their home. This is testimony to the vibrancy and entrepreneurial spirit of Hackney and it is great to see more job opportunities created for local people, which is something we have pushed for as a vital part of this development.”

David Edmonds, Chairman of the London Legacy Development Corporation, said: “Supporting independent businesses and providing jobs for local people is a key ambition of the London 2012 Games legacy so we are incredibly excited to welcome the first retailers to Here East’s Canalside. It signals another new chapter for what is quickly becoming a colourful, bustling area of the Park.”

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