The Association of Event Organisers is urging the Government and in particular the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to ‘call-in’ the planning application involving the proposed demolition of Earls Court Exhibition Centre.
***AEO has launched a petition, Stop the Proposed Demolition of Earls Court Exhibition Centre, which calls for the planning application to be ‘called in’ for a public inquiry. The epetition is on the Government’s website and can be signed at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/36680.
We believe we have a very strong argument for this to happen based on the key following points:
The iconic venue in West London has a fantastic heritage, is home to a national institution, The Ideal Home Show, established 105 years ago, as well as the Royal Tournament, top events, exhibitions and concerts from Madonna to Pink Floyd. Earls Court is also being used as an important Olympic venue for the beach volleyball but faces demolition after the Olympics. Plans by Capital and Counties (Capco) for the redevelopment of the 77-acre Earls Court site include demolishing the exhibition centre to create four villages and a high street, offices and 7,500 new homes.
Earl’s Court attracts about 2.5 million visitors, 30,000 exhibitors, hundreds of events, and over a billion pounds a year to London. It sustains thousands of jobs; it’s an anchor for London’s West End economy; it’s ONE OF the most dearly-loved creative and business venue, locally, nationally, and globally.
London is already short of exhibition space for national and international events, at a time when the UK is trying to promote itself as an important global business centre, but is losing revenue and trade to other countries, many of which are increasing their capacity to encourage more events and exhibitions.
The demolition of Earl’s Court would substantially contract the exhibition and events industry, reduce the number of tourists visiting London after the Olympics and Paralympics elevated the city’s stature in front of a global audience and destroy jobs, wreck businesses, and rob us of our heritage.
Stop the demolition of Earl’s Court today!
Please click on the links below to see the media coverage that our campaign has achieved so far
The campaign to save Earls Court, spearheaded by the Association of Event Organisers (AEO) aims to engage with the public, residents, local businesses and community to save Earls Court and declare the Earls Court/ West Kensington Supplementary Planning Document unlawful.
Earls Court has a tremendous history. It is London’s premier, iconic showcase for all that life has to offer, from leading-edge technology to popular music. Earls Court is the UK’s third largest venue, an outstanding feat of 1930s engineering, adorned with original Art Deco features. It’s a world-class venue for a world-city, and it has staged the volleyball competition for the London 2012 Olympics.
The owner of the Earls Court leases proposes to demolish the Exhibition Centres and build 7,500 flats in blocks up to 30 storeys high, along with two million square feet of offices. Its refusal to grant tenancies post 2013 will force successful, market-leading exhibitions and events to close, prevent hundreds of businesses from trading, and terminate the incomes of thousands of people.
Now, backed by the legal team, High Court proceedings have been launched against the planning policy underpinning the demolition of the Exhibition Centres.
Earls Court Architecture
The Earls Court Exhibition architect was C Howard Crane of Detroit, creator of a string of great theatres and the Art Deco Leveque Tower in Columbus, Ohio. His style spanned from Beaux-Arts Neo-classical to Modernist. Earls Court is his most stripped-back, clean-finished design, and his largest.
The iconic Earls Court Exhibition Centre building was completed in 1937 and featured in architectural publications such as Architects Journal, Architectural Review and Building Magazine as having the largest single-span roof in the world.
Its architectural style is Art Moderne, but the Warwick Road entrance has American Art Deco elements, such as its five vertical window strips. Above them, five heroic square reliefs depict Engineering, Music, Jousting, Sports and Horticulture, in red and white. The red neon letters EARLS COURT are probably the biggest in the UK.
Earls Court must be preserved as one of the worlds, not just London’s, few remaining unique monumental Art Deco emporiums.
As a performance venue it has been one of the most popular arenas to play in the UK, with a capacity of around 19,000, including standing room.
In response to the need to increase Earls Court's exhibition space, Earls Court Two was constructed in 1991 at a cost of £100m. The striking barrel-roofed hall which links with Earls Court One via folding shutters is large enough to hold four Boeing 747's (jumbo jets), and the hall's 17,000 square metre floor is entirely column-free. The hall was opened by Diana, Princess of Wales.
Playing host to countless exhibitions since its opening, from the Ideal Home Show, the Motor Show, the Royal Tournament and now the London Olympics, Earls Court is a major cultural venue in west London, and an architectural gem.
Local Residents (Homes & Property)
Conservative leader of Hammersmith & Fulham Council, Stephen Greenhalgh is adamant that the Earls Court scheme would be good for the area and for many of the people currently living there.
A consultation with residents showed that of the 760 council homes due to be levelled more than 600 of the forms distributed by the council seeking responses to the proposed deal have been sent back expressing opposition. Residents are divided by the Hammersmith and Fulham plans and the sheer scale of residents' opposition raises concerns over the planned development of Earls Court.
Sally Taylor, chair of West Kensington Tenants and Residents Association said residents won’t accept demolition. “This is a close-knit community; there’s nothing wrong with our homes,” she said. “The council’s planning policy is not only immoral, now we have asked the High Court of Justice to declare it unlawful.”
Local & London Business (Retail)
Earls Court brings 2.5 million visitors, 30,000 exhibitors, hundreds of events, and over a billion pounds a year to London. It sustains thousands of jobs; it’s an anchor for London’s West End economy; it’s the most dearly-loved creative and business venue, locally, nationally, and globally.
Centrally located and close to Heathrow, Earls Court is an essential international marketing platform for thousands of small businesses and world brands. East London’s Excel is not suitable for most of the Earls Court shows. Some that transferred there, like the Boat Show, lost visitors; others were forced, by popular demand, to return to Earls Court.
Its refusal to grant tenancies post 2013 will force successful, market-leading exhibitions and events to close, prevent hundreds of businesses from trading, and terminate the incomes of thousands of people.
There is an argument to say that why, in the midst of a property-busted recession, should anybody be allowed to destroy a sustainable, profitable, commercial, global brand, which generates thousands of jobs and maintains hundreds of businesses, to develop luxury flats for speculative gain.
It is also widely documented that London is already short of exhibition space for national and international events, and the UK is losing revenue and trade to other countries. The demolition of Earls Court would contract the industry, deplete foreign visitors, destroy jobs, decimate businesses, and take away the area’s heritage. The disruption would diminish economic output, and deprive the Treasury of billions of pounds of tax revenues.