New London Architecture

London sports venues score crucial regeneration goals

Friday 19 February 2021

David Taylor

Editor, NLQ and New London Weekly

Robert Gordon Clark

Executive Chairman
London Communications Agency

Donna-Maria Cullen

Executive Director
Tottenham Hotspur

James Saunders

CEO
Quintain

Sally Stephens

Fan and Community Relations Director
Brentford Football Club

Cllr Stephen Alambritis MBE

Former Leader
London Borough of Merton

Tom Jones

Senior Principal
Populous

Shaun​ Dawson

Chief Executive
Lee Valley Regional Park Authority

Sport continues to play a blinder in London’s regeneration as the developers and designers of stadia look beyond the pitch and into creating mixed use pieces of city.

That was one of the key take-aways from ‘Sporting-led regeneration: the role of sport facilities in London today’, a webinar held last week and kicked off by chair Robert Gordon Clark of London Communications Agency.

The capital, he said, had been impacted by key events such as winning the 2012 Olympics, ‘one of the great days in its history’, while Arsenal’s move to its new stadium at the Emirates, the creation of the new Wembley, and the number of schemes in NLA’s Changing Face of London exhibition with a sporting component all pointed to sport’s civic importance.

Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium is another exemplar project, brought into sharp focus – and catalysed – by the riots that happened in the area, said the club’s executive director Donna-Maria Cullen. ‘We've delivered a stadium’, she said, ‘but not just a straightforward stadium. I think we know what sport brings - it can do so much more so when you have a sport venue delivered in a neighbourhood. It’s not because we’re in and out for a quick project and profit. We’re in there for the long-term’. As part of the vision the stadium is multi-use for concerts and other sports and will bring an estimated three million people a year to the Tottenham area, delivering up to 4,000 jobs and 400 news homes, 70% of them affordable. The club has plans for a further 1230 homes and is also working on creating a new neighbourhood with architects F3, pointing too to the economic benefits for the area of having such a ‘civic’ stadium embedded in the community – which will shortly become a vaccination centre too. ‘We are probably going to exceed what any Section 106 could lay at our door’, said Cullen

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Quintain, too has been concentrating on creating a new neighbourhood, next to Wembley Stadium, said its CEO James Saunders, transforming an area that was a ‘ghost town’ on non-matchdays. ‘Creating a neighbourhood to live in was absolutely central to our vision’, said Saunders of the £3bn investments into the area, now around two-thirds through the job, mostly made up of build to rent apartments. But as much attention is being paid to the spaces between buildings, he added, the developer concentrating on the ground floor with parks, a theatre, a designer outlet, retail, BoxPark, artists studios and other elements to help make a community. ‘It's also about long term estate management. It's never been more important to keep the place clean and safe and secure and that's something that we pride ourselves on’.

Wembley Park Stadium
At a different scale, Brentford’s regeneration is being helped by the football club’s new stadium, said Sally Stephens, fan and community relations director, a major upgrade on its old, cramped facilities at Gryphon Park less than a mile away. The new stadium has a 17,250 capacity and is surrounded by four development areas on which homes, a new public square and commercial elements will be built, as well as a new green route from the Thames.

The event also heard from Cllr Stephen Alambritis, former leader of LB Merton on Wimbledon FC’s return, Shaun Dawson of the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, who widened the debate to the future of sports and leisure services at borough level, expressing some concern about the ability of local authorities to continue to provide these without more support from government or major sporting bodies, and Tom Jones, senior principal, London at Populous, who is responsible for having designed both the Emirates and Spurs’ new stadium. Twenty years ago, said Jones, people didn’t want stadiums in cities, with a drive to develop them on the periphery. ‘Now I think Tottenham epitomises the strength of what a stadium regeneration project can bring to its community. And it’s just amazing to see’. 
WATCH THE WEBINAR RECORDING


David Taylor

Editor, NLQ and New London Weekly

Robert Gordon Clark

Executive Chairman
London Communications Agency

Donna-Maria Cullen

Executive Director
Tottenham Hotspur

James Saunders

CEO
Quintain

Sally Stephens

Fan and Community Relations Director
Brentford Football Club

Cllr Stephen Alambritis MBE

Former Leader
London Borough of Merton

Tom Jones

Senior Principal
Populous

Shaun​ Dawson

Chief Executive
Lee Valley Regional Park Authority


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