Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, and VisitLondon today finally announced the location of the 2012 Olympics non-accredited media centre – two weeks after Games organisers staged its World Press Briefing.
As had been widely trailed, the media centre is in the centre of the city, but rather than using any of the larger conference centres either side of Westminster Bridge, they have booked a hall that usually stages £10,000 wedding receptions, the One Great George Street conference centre off Parliament Square.
The “fully equipped media centre” will be vital for allowing reporters who do not have accreditation for Olympic events to cover news and features around the Games.
Despite anticipating “thousands” of journalists from home and abroad to descend on the capital to record events at what Johnson calls “this historic time”, One Great George Street, with its custom-made theatre, will offer facilities for less than 300.
According to today’s announcement, “the Centre will have workspaces for over 250 journalists, with press conference facilities to sit 200 members of media. It will be a fully serviced 24-hour media centre with live broadcasting areas, additional office space for photographers and in-house dining facilities.”
The London Media Centre is close to the start and finish area of some of the free Olympic sports events, such as the marathons (expected to start or finish on The Mall), the cycling road race, and not far from the hub of the triathlon course in Hyde Park.
The Centre is a 30-minute Tube ride from the Olympic Park from nearby Westminster Underground station.
“Journalists joining us for these historic days in the summer of 2012 are now guaranteed a central working base in the heart of all the action,” said Johnson. “A stone’s throw from the London Media Centre lie some of the capital’s most iconic shots and locations, ready to be beamed into homes across the globe. I look forward to welcoming our visitors in 2012 and joining with them for the biggest party London has ever seen.”