The Earls Court Exhibition Centre is an exhibition centre, conference and event venue located in west London, England in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea . It is the largest exhibition venue in central London. It is served by two underground stations, Earl's Court and West Brompton, opposite its entrances on Warwick Road and the Old Brompton Road. Earls Court and nearby Olympia are operated by EC&O Venues.

Earls Court was largely a waste ground for many years. With the introduction of two stations, it became a mass network of rail on derelict grounds. The idea of introducing entertainment to the grounds was brought about by an entrepreneur called John Robinson Whitley who used the land as a show ground for many years. Whitley did not profit from his efforts, yet his desire had decided the future of Earls Court and its purpose in later years. In the late 19th century the site had been home to Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show and a huge observation wheel. A plaque in the press centre commemorates both of these facts and that Queen Victoria was a frequent visitor to the show. In 1935 the land was sold and the new owners decided to construct a show centre to rival any other in the world and to dominate the nearby Olympia exhibition hall. The plan was to create Europe's largest structure by volume. The project did not go exactly to plan; it ran over budget and was late in completion. Earls Court finally opened its door to the public for the Chocolate and Confectionery Exhibition on 1 September 1937. It was designed by architect C. Howard Crane. The Motor Show and Commercial Vehicle show soon followed. In spite of all the problems in the latter part of construction, the project was completed at a cost of £1.5 million. This building is now usually referred to as Earls Court One. It has 41,811 square metres of space on two levels.

Earls Court Two
In response to the drastic need to increase Earls Court's exhibition space, Earls Court Two was constructed at a cost of £100m. The striking new barrel-roofed hall which links with Earls Court One via folding shutters is large enough to hold four Boeing 747's (jumbo jets), and the hall's 17,000 square metre floor is entirely column-free. The hall was opened by Diana, Princess of Wales on 17 October 1991 for the Motorfair. Earls Court 2 is situated on part of the former Lillie Bridge.

Redevelopment plans
The owners of Earls Court and Olympia are Capital and Counties. They are presently in discussion with the boroughs of Hammersmith and Fulham and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea to demolish the existing centre and redevelop the area with up to 8000 new flats, retail and possibly a new convention centre. However this is expected to take many years work and certainly can't commence until after the Olympics in 2012. 3 4



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