Letter published in The Financial Times - Mayor Pipe defends Hackney's Olympic employment legacy

The following letter was issued in response to an article published in the Financial Times las week - 'Olympic Media Centre at Risk' - 21st June. The article discussed the possible demolition of the Olympic Media centre after the Olympic Games. Mayor Pipe's letter was published on 25th June


London's bid for the Olympic Games in 2005 promised to transform the economic landscape of East London. The IOC has praised London 2012 as creating the "legacy blueprint" for future Games. That blueprint is in danger of being torn up with the threatened elimination of employment space vital to future job creation.

Here in Hackney, where we will play host to a significant part of the Olympic Park, we are an area of rapid economic growth, where technology and creative digital sectors are thriving and creating highly skilled jobs. East London is fast becoming the UK's silicon valley. We are forging international business partnerships and investors from all over the world will be coming to Hackney in Games Time. Our creative SME sector needs somewhere to expand and grow. The Olympic press and broadcast centres can provide that opportunity and this is a vision that has been endorsed by the Prime Minister and UKTI.

Whatever happens to the International Broadcast Centre building, we need a commitment now from the Mayor of London to delivering the amount of employment space that was promised. What we do not need is retail space and housing that, using the Government's affordability criteria, is well out of the reach of most Hackney people. A failure to realise the potential of this site will be a betrayal of the promises in the 2005 bid, and more importantly, a betrayal of the businesses and residents of East London.

Yours faithfully

Jules Pipe CBE

Mayor of Hackney