30 October 2023
The 12-month countdown to the official opening of ExCeL London’s new 25,000sqm (270,000sqft) expansion has this week been set in motion, paving the way for it to become the future of conferencing in Europe.
The £220 million development, fully supported by ADNEC Group and built by McLaren Construction, will expand the venue’s existing world-class conference and exhibition facilities by a further 25% – totalling 125,000sqm (1,250,000sqft) when it opens in October 2024. The project will also make ExCeL the largest fully-integrated conference and exhibition centre in Europe.
Built due to growing demand from event organisers across the UK, Europe and North America, the expansion will create additional state-of-the-art ICC convention facilities, exhibition halls and conference rooms, together with high-end meeting rooms and catering facilities. This 25% growth in space will allow the venue to compete for and welcome some of the largest congresses in Europe, with the first contracts already signed for future years.
The expansion represents ADNEC Group's focus on enhancing its capabilities and quality of services while diversifying its overall portfolio to secure positive business and investment results and serve the interests of current and future partners.
The Chairman of ExCeL London, Humaid Al Dhaheri, said: “ExCeL London’s extension represents a new chapter in our Group’s growth as we look to strengthen further the company’s leading position within the international events and business tourism industry. The ongoing completion of the new project reflects our quest to deliver best-in-class conference and exhibition venues in line with our sustainable growth plans.”
Hosting around 400 events every year and welcoming four million visitors, one million of those from overseas, the Royal Docks venue is currently experiencing its busiest ever year – tracking 10% higher than its previous record set before the pandemic in 2019. This includes record demand for event space, record-breaking attendance figures across multiple sectors and a flourishing new attractions and immersive division.
In line with ExCeL’s Sustainability Strategy and carbon neutrality, the expansion is being built to leading environmental standards with the goal of achieving an ‘Excellent’ BREEAM rating upon completion and has already saved more than 11,000kg of CO2e by using Cemfree, an ultra-low carbon masonry mortar.
As part of the project, a substantial investment is also being made in the public realm including new greenery along the dock edge, improved landscaping for pedestrians and cyclists, and a new pocket park.
Jeremy Rees, CEO of ExCeL, said: “This year is set to be a record-breaker for ExCeL and our biggest and busiest ever year. It is this growth and market confidence in the events industry that has led to us to expanding the venue further with a £300m investment programme. From concept to completion, the expansion has had the full support and vision of ADNEC Group, of which ExCeL is proudly a part, and we are very much looking forward to opening the doors in 12 months’ time.”
He added: “London has always been a world-class event destination, and now with the high-speed Elizabeth line, it continues to be the city of choice for the global business events industry.”
ExCeL’s expansion opens in October 2024 with the next major construction milestone being the completion of the steel structure in November.