Mayor champions world-class aquarium for London
Monday 20 May 2002
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The Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, today (Monday, May 20) backed plans to build a world-class, state-of-the-art aquarium as part of the £1 billion regeneration of Silvertown Quays, east London.
The new aquarium, designed by leading architect Sir Terry Farrell, is expected to become a major magnet for visitors from across Britain and abroad and is the first to be based on a foundation of conservation and science. It is part of the Silvertown Quays redevelopment - the single largest regeneration scheme area in London - covering approximately 168 acres by the south side of the Royal Docks by the Thames. KUD Limited is leading on the aquarium for the Silvertown Quays consortium and working in partnership with The Zoological Society of London (ZSL).
Hosting a launch event at London Zoo, Regent's Park, this evening (Monday, May 20), the Mayor said: "The idea of having one of the greatest aquariums in the world here in London is something I have long supported and really want to see happen."
"This aquarium would make an important contribution to the conservation of aquatic life and give Londoners and visitors to our city an extraordinary Window into the underwater world."
Mr Livingstone reiterated his backing for the whole scheme. "The transformation of Silvertown Quays is also a crucial part of my vision for regeneration," he said. "As well as contributing to the local community and to education, science and conservation schemes, an international-standard aquarium located here will provide a boost to the whole Thames Gateway and signal our confidence in the future development of East London."
Dr Michael Dixon, Director General of ZSL echoed the Mayor's support. "The Mayor has been a tremendous supporter of our work over many years. He knows that we have been keen to develop an aquarium on this scale and with the emphasis on conservation and education.
Dr Dixon added: "We will be closely involved in the project which will not only become a major tourist attraction, but will also have a vital role in increasing understanding and interest in the underwater world. It will be a magnificent showcase for ZSL's worldwide conservation activities and a new centre for our scientific research in aquatic environments."
Marvin Suomi, Chairman of KUD, commented: "This project has been a long-held ambition of ours. We have been planning this project for very many years and originally submitted a proposal for Millennium funds.
"One of the beauties of this project is that we are going to use cross-subsidy from the rest of the development not only to build the aquarium, but also to help sustain it."
He added: "Having been involved in the development of the Aquarium of the Pacific in Los Angeles and the Florida Aquarium in Tampa, we are committed to making this one of the world's truly great aquariums. The fascination with aquatic life seems to evoke very special emotions in us all, which is why we're so delighted to be helping others to witness this hidden world in such spectacular surroundings."
The aquarium is scheduled to open in 2006. It will be situated within the development, which will include 3,000 new homes, including accommodation for key workers such as nurses and teachers as well as hotels and offices. It is being developed by Silvertown Quays Ltd, which is a consortium involving KUD, London & Southern, with financial backing from the Norwich Unions Igloo Fund.
Requests for interviews or further information please contact:
Debbie Curtis, ZSL PR Office
Tel: (020) 7449 6363
Catherine Bithell, GLA Press Office
Tel: (020) 7983 4714
Sheila Gunn MBE
Spokesman for KUD/SQL
Tel: (020) 7395 7163
Notes to Editors
- KUD International is a major development firm specialising in large and complex Public Private Partnership projects around the world. These projects include educational institutions, sports arenas/stadiums, museums and aquariums. KUD Limited, the UK subsidiary, is a leading member of the consortium chosen by the London Development Agency for the regeneration of Silvertown Quays, east London.
- The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) is an international scientific, conservation and educational charity. It owns and runs London Zoo and Whipsnade Wild Animal Park, undertakes research in conservation biology at its Institute of Zoology and performs conservation work in the field in Britain and overseas.
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