By Chris Roberts

The two investors in and developers of £1.3 billion cultural regeneration of Olympia in London, Yoo Capital and Deutsche Finance International (DFI) have announced two major project milestones.

John Hitchcox, Chairman of Yoo Capital and owner of the 800 acre estate Lakes by yoo between Fairford and Lechlade confirmed that the demolition of Olympia Central is now beginning and signifies the start of the main construction work.

The plans are to demolish Olympia Central Hall while the iconic Grade II listed structures of Olympia National and Olympia Grand are being incorporated into the site’s overall redevelopment and will continue to host events while works are taking place

Work is beginning on a total of seven new buildings – including the previously announced citizenM and Hyatt Regency hotels, plus the 4,400 capacity live music venue that will be run by AEG Presents – and will be completed in 2024.

The works will be delivered by Laing O’Rourke, in a deal worth over £600 million, with the construction firm having already completed some enabling works on the site. The buildings’ walls and floors and a large proportion of the M&E services will be manufactured in a factory off site. This will significantly reduce the number of vehicle movements and operatives on site while, at the same time, improving safety by taking construction activities into a controlled factory environment.

Lloyd Lee, Managing Partner at YOO Capital, said: “This is an important and historic moment in the redevelopment of Olympia. Olympia Central first opened in 1930 and now we bid farewell as we usher in an exciting new era for the site and London as a whole.”

In addition, Yoo Capital and DFI have announced a major agreement with premium international live entertainment business, Trafalgar Entertainment, to run the site’s new theatre. It will be the largest new permanent theatre build of its kind to open in London for 45 years with an agreed 70 year lease. The Olympia venue breaks new ground in theatre design with a stunning, state-of-the-art 1,575 seat auditorium at its heart.

John Hitchcox said: “We are delighted to welcome Trafalgar Entertainment as the latest tenants of Olympia. This will be a big boost for the city’s entertainment industry, but also the local economy providing the very best productions for theatre lovers and heralding a new era for theatre and entertainment in London.”

The team behind the project believe that Olympia is a hugely important and iconic venue, which has a rich and successful 130 year history and it continues to have tremendous untapped potential.

The 14-acre Olympia redevelopment project will create a vibrant new cultural, leisure and business hub for London, where visitors and office workers can enjoy a diverse spectrum of exceptional experiences and companies can showcase their products. The number of exciting and high profile occupiers already signed up and the addition of Trafalgar as the theatre operator, provide a clear demonstration that Olympia’s next 130 years can be even more successful than its first.