ExCeL London

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

ExCeL London
Excel London Summer 2011.jpg
ExCeL London in June 2011
LocationCustom House, Docklands, London, E16
United Kingdom
Coordinates51°30′29″N 0°01′44″E / 51.5081°N 0.0289°E / 51.5081; 0.0289Coordinates: 51°30′29″N 0°01′44″E / 51.5081°N 0.0289°E / 51.5081; 0.0289
OwnerAbu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company
ArchitectSir Robert McAlpine
Moxley Architects Ltd.
OpenedNovember 2000; 20 years ago (November 2000)
Enclosed space
 • Total space100,000 m²
Parking3,700 spaces[1]
Bicycle facilities
60 racks[2]
Public transit accessDocklands Light Railway Custom House for ExCeL
Docklands Light Railway Prince Regent
www.excel.london Edit this at Wikidata

ExCeL London (an abbreviation for Exhibition Centre London)[3] is an exhibition and international convention centre in the Custom House area of Newham, East London.[4] Its 100-acre (0.40 km2) site is on the northern quay of the Royal Victoria Dock in London Docklands, between Canary Wharf and London City Airport.


Aerial view of ExCeL in 2008, before its extension

The centre was designed by Moxley Architects and built by Sir Robert McAlpine. It opened in November 2000.[5][6] In May 2008 it was acquired by Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company. Phase II of development, which included building London's first International Convention Centre (ICC) and creating an "eastern arrival experience", was completed on 1 May 2010. In 2015 ExCeL announced the opening of CentrEd at ExCeL,[7] a dedicated training and meeting space located close to the western entrance of the venue overlooking Royal Victoria Dock, adding to ExCeL's wide range of flexible spaces.

The Royal Victoria Dock closed to commercial traffic in 1981, but it is still accessible to shipping. The Centre's waterfront location allows visiting vessels to moor alongside the Centre. For example, the 2005 London Boat Show was visited by HMS Sutherland.

The exhibition building itself consists of two column-free, rectangular, subdivisible halls of approximately 479,493 square feet (approximately 44,546 m²) each, on either side of a central boulevard containing catering facilities and information points. There are also three sets of function rooms, one overlooking the water, another above the western end of the central boulevard, and the third on the north side of the building. These are used for smaller meetings, seminars, presentations and corporate hospitality. There are six hotels, more than 30 bars and restaurants, and 3,700 parking spaces on the campus.

ExCeL London has hosted numerous consumer and trade, private and public events, including exhibitions, conferences, concerts, weddings and religious events. Among these have been WorldSkills London 2011, the London Boat Show, the British International Motor Show, Grand Designs Live, the Carole Nash MCN Motorcycle Show, MCM London Comic Con, the London International Music Show, Star Wars Celebration Europe, London Marathon registration, the World Travel Market, The Clothes Show London, Defence Security and Equipment International (DSEi), The Dive Show, the Global Peace and Unity Event, the 2009 G-20 London Summit, IP Expo Europe and Summer in the City.

In 2011 ExCeL London was awarded the Business Superbrand.[8] The site welcomed its 20 millionth visitor[9] on 18 June 2014. ExCeL has also been awarded 'Venue of the Year' on several occasions at various industry ceremonies.[10] In 2012 ExCeL hosted several events for the Olympics and Paralympics. It has since erected a "legacy wall" featuring the handprints of athletes who won Gold at the venue and the former Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

In 2014 ExCeL hosted the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict,[11] chaired by American actress and UN Special Envoy Angelina Jolie and attended by 79 ministers from 123 country delegations.

Aerial view of ExCeL in 2015, after its extension

From 1 to 8 July 2019, 150 events took place as part of London Climate Action Week 2019.[12]

It was announced on 24 March 2020 that the centre was to be temporarily converted into the 4,000-bed NHS Nightingale Hospital as part of the response to the 2020 coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Military engineers and contractors supported the erection of the facility, and army medics assisted the NHS nurses, doctors and other staff.[13] The Nightingale was opened on 3 April 2020 by Charles, Prince of Wales via videolink.[14]


ExCeL London is served by two Docklands Light Railway (DLR) stations, which span the full 600-metre length of the venue. The western entrance is directly linked to Custom House for ExCeL station, which serves the Platinum Suite and the event halls and is located next to the iconic glass pyramid. From 2021 the western entrance of ExCeL will also be served by the Elizabeth line, better known as Crossrail, connecting the venue to central London in just 12 minutes[15] and providing a direct link to Heathrow Airport.

The eastern entrance is connected to Prince Regent station. The eastern entrance serves the International Convention Centre (ICC at ExCeL), which was opened in 2010 by then-Mayor Boris Johnson and is London's first and currently only ICC. During major shows with large visitor attendances, extra shuttle trains are run between the venue and Canning Town station, with interchange at Canning Town with London Underground's Jubilee line. ExCeL London is also located near London City Airport station. The DLR and a number of dual-carriageway roads connect the centre to the airport and the important nearby office-and-commercial district of Canary Wharf. Since June 2012, the Emirates Air Line cable car now links ExCeL to The O2 on the Greenwich Peninsula.

Sustainability and CSR[edit]

ExCeL London participates in the UN Global Compact Scheme,[16] the world's largest corporate sustainability initiative which invites companies to align with universal principles on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. As part of this scheme, ExCeL produces an annual communication on progress addressing the issues of Human Rights, Labour, Environment and Anti-Corruption. Since joining the scheme in August 2007,[17] ExCeL has undertaken a series of initiatives to reduce energy usage, increase recycling efforts and increase transparency across the business – shown by the introduction of a Whistleblowing hotline in May 2015. Despite this, there are no water bottle refilling facilities at the venue, forcing the purchase of water bottles.[18]

ExCeL publishes details of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts publicly in the UN Global Compact report and on their website. Currently ExCeL invests in the local community of Newham by supporting select charities, chiefly Newham All Star Sports Academy (NASSA) and Community Food Enterprise (CFE).[19] ExCeL also provides space free of charge to local schools and sports teams, in addition to hosting an annual event called 'ExCeL in the Arts' for local children to attend. In 2016, ExCeL welcomed London celebrity chef, musician and entrepreneur Levi Roots, who in collaboration with a local food initiative organised a cooking class for local children[20]


ExCeL London hosting table tennis events at the 2012 Summer Olympics.


For the 2012 Summer Olympics,[21] ExCeL London was divided into five sports halls with capacities ranging from 4,000 to 6,000 that were used for boxing, fencing, judo, taekwondo, table tennis, weightlifting, and wrestling. Previous sporting events which have taken place at ExCeL London include:



The Virgin Active London Triathlon is held at ExCeL London on an annual basis, with the cycling and running legs taking place within and around the venue and the swim taking place in Royal Victoria Dock, adjacent to ExCeL. The Triathlon celebrated its 20th year at ExCeL London in summer 2016.


The Formula E London ePrix was scheduled to be held at ExCel in July 2020 with part of the circuit running around the arena and part of the circuit in the exhibition hall itself.[22] However the event was moved after the ExCeL was repurposed as a temporary NHS hospital named NHS Nightingale, to deal with the Coronavirus pandemic.[23]

Coronavirus pandemic[edit]

On 24 March 2020, the ExCeL was announced as a temporary NHS hospital, containing 4000 beds and named NHS Nightingale, to deal with the Coronavirus pandemic.[23] The temporary NHS hospital was planned to shut down in early May 2021,[24] but was also used as a mass vaccination centre as part of the COVID-19 vaccination programme from 11 January 2021.[25]

Other events[edit]

ExCeL waterfront south side.

ExCeL London has hosted the following events:


Demonstrators camped outside ExCel to protest against the DSEI fair in 2019. They were attempting to block access to it. Police arrested 100 people for allegedly obstructing the highway.[28][29]


  1. ^ "Travel By Road to ExCeL". Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  2. ^ "Cycling to ExCeL". Archived from the original on 8 May 2014. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  3. ^ Administrator, System (4 August 1995). "85m exhibition centre excels with new name".
  4. ^ "ExCeL London". Visit London. Retrieved 13 December 2012.
  5. ^ "ExCeL". Moxley Architects. Retrieved 13 January 2021.
  6. ^ "News from Worldwide". Worldwide Exhibition Specialists Ltd. Archived from the original on 15 March 2008. Retrieved 11 July 2008.
  7. ^ "ExCeL". excel.london. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  8. ^ http://www.superbrands.uk.com/excellondon Archived 13 November 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Prize package given to Excel's 20 millionth visitor". 18 June 2014.
  10. ^ "ExCeL". excel.london. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  11. ^ "Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict". Government of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  12. ^ Fullard, Martin (1 July 2019). "London Climate Action Week: the events industry gets involved". Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  13. ^ Gold, Harry (28 March 2020). "Pictures show inside makeshift NHS 'Nightingale' hospital built by Army". cambridgenews. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  14. ^ "Coronavirus: Nightingale Hospital opens at London's ExCel centre". 3 April 2020 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  15. ^ "ExCeL". excel.london. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  16. ^ "ExCeL London | UN Global Compact". www.unglobalcompact.org. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  17. ^ "ExCeL London website – UN COP 2015" (PDF). ExCeL London. Retrieved 24 May 2016.[permanent dead link]
  18. ^ "ExCeL". excel.london. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  19. ^ "ExCeL". excel.london. Retrieved 24 May 2016.[permanent dead link]
  20. ^ "ExCeL". excel.london. Retrieved 24 May 2016.[permanent dead link]
  21. ^ "ExCeL". Venues. UK: London 2012. Archived from the original on 5 December 2012. Retrieved 13 December 2012.
  22. ^ "Formula E is back in London". FIA Formula E.
  23. ^ a b Schraer, Rachel (24 March 2020). "ExCeL Centre to be used as coronavirus hospital" – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  24. ^ Campbell, Denis; Mason, Rowena (4 May 2020). "London NHS Nightingale hospital will shut next week" – via www.theguardian.com.
  25. ^ "Covid: Mass vaccination centres to open in England". BBC News. BBC. 11 January 2021. Retrieved 11 January 2021.
  26. ^ "EASL 2014 Annual Meeting". Eventegg.
  27. ^ "The X Factor 2017 finals will be held at the Excel centre for the first time". Metro. 19 November 2017. Retrieved 25 November 2017.
  28. ^ "Campaigners begin occupation of ExCeL entrance ahead of Canning Town arms fair". Newham Recorder. 3 September 2019. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  29. ^ "London: Week of protests against DSEI arms fair". Independent Catholic News. 2 September 2019. Retrieved 3 September 2019.

External links[edit]