STRATFORD'S INNOVATION DISTRICT
What is an innovation district?
An Innovation District is a place where industry leaders in business come together to transform an area. These companies may be private, public or third sector but they all have a common goal: to harness a combined strength that will innovate, in turn creating improvements in the local area.
The ultimate aim of such a district is to cultivate an ecosystem; to create a place where innovations are not only made by the companies themselves, but also by start-ups and local businesses that the district fosters and nurtures. They are almost always mixed-use: you’ll find restaurants, retail and leisure pursuits alongside business accelerators and office space. New technology may be a key focus for business or will be used to improve spaces for those who work there. And all of this is underpinned by a strong sense of community responsibility.
The innovation district at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
The 2012 Olympic Games left a legacy in Stratford: an Innovation District. And IQL is a proud part of that. At IQL we’ve welcomed mammoth organisations who have moved their Headquarters into our buildings. Transport for London, the Financial Conduct Authority, the British Council and UNICEF are all reaping the benefits of ergonomically designed workplaces. The neighbouring East Bank development will see BBC Music, Sadler’s Wells, V&A, UCL and UAL open campuses next to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, while Westfield and London Stadium already offer ample leisure opportunities for residents, employees and visitors.
These well-established names are already partnering with Here East – a hub of innovation with a clear community conscience. Here start-ups and local businesses work together in a collaborative environment. The aim is to succeed, but also to increase opportunity for training and employment within the local community. Here East will soon be home to separate research facilities for the V&A / Smithsonian as well as providing research space for some of the UK’s leading universities.
What does this mean for Stratford?
As a result of the above, Stratford will welcome a further 6.5 million visitors a year, once East Bank is open. By the mid-2020s, 40,000 new jobs will have come to the area, as well as apprenticeships in both the creative and construction industries. Upon the opening of University College London and the London College of Fashion, around 10,000 students will regularly be travelling to Stratford as part of their education. And all of these new visitors will experience unrivalled spaces, both indoors and outdoors.
Combine the exciting developments with an unrivalled infrastructure that was implemented for the Olympic Games and you have a destination that’s as lively, cultured and convenient as any other in London.
IQL STRATFORD CHAMPIONS
Stratford is a place for talent to thrive, and big names like London College of Fashion, UNICEF, Transport for London and many more regard this exciting part of East London as the perfect place to be innovative and collaborate with each other. Hear what they think about Stratford in this series of short films.
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