Bidding starts on who is to run east London’s ‘Orbit’ Olympic tower

ORGANISATIONS have three weeks to bid to operate what is expected to be one of London’s most spectacular - but most controversial - visitor attractions, the ArcelorMittal Orbit.

The Olympic Park Legacy Company has today (Thursday) launched a formal process for bidders wanting to operate the Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond designed sculpture.

The tower, which has been likened to Japanese horror monster Godzilla, is taller than the Statue of Liberty and will tower above east London from its home in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Sitting between the Stadium and the Aquatics Centre, the 114m-tall ArcelorMittal Orbit will have two observation floors, giving visitors views across London’s skyline.

The chosen operator would run the venue on behalf of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games during Games-time, and, afterwards, would be responsible for ticketing, marketing and events, hospitality and catering, the gift shop, reception and internal security for the Legacy Company.

The ArcelorMittal Orbit could generate up to �10m per year in revenue through ticket sales, catering, private functions, retail and merchandise, bringing around 50 new jobs to the future Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and could attract more than a million visitors in its first year.

The Legacy Company aims to appoint an operator by June, with the aim of managing the fit out of the venue. It is anticipated that the contract will run for ten years.

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Andrew Altman, chief executive of the Olympic Park Legacy Company, said: “The operator of the ArcelorMittal Orbit will be in charge of running what we hope will be one of the world’s most spectacular visitor attractions.

“Combining cutting-edge design with stunning views of the London skyline, the sculpture could attract up to one million visitors in its first year of operation, and will be an iconic symbol of future Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

“With the changing view of the City by day and night, the ArcelorMittal Orbit has the potential to be the ‘must-see’ attraction in east London.”

Interested parties have until Friday, January 28 to make a formal bid by completing a Pre Qualification Questionnaire.

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