Boris says London ICC depends on money from DCMS

London Mayor Boris Johnson is still as keen as ever for London to get an international convention centre.

Asked by conference-news whether the likelihood of an international convention centre in the capital was moving closer, Johnson said: “We want to promote that, but would like to see some Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) money to make it a reality”.

Boris Johnson was speaking to conference-news while officially ‘topping out’ the new £350m, 16-storey Westminster Bridge Park Plaza hotel on London’s South Bank.

The venue will boast 2,700 square metres of meetings space when it opens in spring 2010 and the hotel claims £30m worth of business is already lined up.

Johnson welcomed the addition to the capital’s ever growing hotel stock. “A dazzling imago had emerged,” he said.

The new hotel will offer 1,021 rooms and suites, 30 meeting rooms and create 800 new jobs.

“This impressive development has removed an awful eyesore that has blighted this corner of the capital for too long,” said Johnson.

“A sparkling new hotel is just what the South Bank needs. I am sure it will act as a major springboard for the regeneration plans for Waterloo Station and the surrounding area, on top of creating hundreds of jobs and boosting the local economy. What’s more, the huge investment being made today demonstrates great confidence in the future prosperity of our great city.”

The Mayor predicted another 200 hotels would be built in the capital in the coming two years.

President and CEO of Park Plaza Hotels Boris Ivesha said that 1,000 beds had been already pledged to the Olympic accommodation scheme for 2012.

Ivesha stressed the company was different from other hotel managers in that it both constructs and operates offering a “one-stop shop”.

Director of Business Tourism for Visit London, Tracy Halliwell, said the new hotel would be a welcome addition to the capital’s business offer: “It will provide visitors with a spectacular new hotel with an outstanding range of high-end facilities’ which will be able to service both leisure and business visitors.”

Paul Colston

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Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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