ExCeL Exhibition Centre

ExCeL London (Exhibition Centre London) is an exhibitions and conference centre in the London Borough of Newham, England. It is located on a 100-acre (0.40 km2) site on the northern quay of the Royal Victoria Dock in London Docklands, between Canary Wharf and London City Airport.


The centre was built by Sir Robert McAlpine, opened in November 2000, and in May 2008, was acquired by Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company. Phase II was completed on 1 May 2010. This £164m expansion increased ExCeL's event space by 50% (to nearly 100,000 m²) and added further meeting space, banqueting facilities and event space. The extension also includes a flexible 5,000 seat International Conference Centre.

The Royal Victoria Dock closed to commercial traffic in 1981 but it is still accessible to shipping. The centre's waterfront location is used when it hosts the annual London Boat Show, with visiting vessels able to moor alongside the centre; for example the 2005 show was visited by HMS Sutherland The exhibition building itself consists of two column-free, rectangular, subdividable 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 5 hotels, more than 30 bars and restaurants plus 3700 parking spaces on the campus. In April 2009, ExCeL played host to the 2009 G20 London summit.

ExCeL London has hosted numerous consumer and trade, private and public events including exhibitions, conferences, concerts, weddings and religious events since its opening in 2000. Among these have been London Boat Show, British International Motor Show, Grand Designs Live, Carole Nash MCN Motorcycle Show, The MCM Expo, London International Music Show, Star Wars Celebration Europe, London Marathon registration, World Travel Market, London Wine & Spirits Fair, The Clothes Show London, The Dive Show and Global Peace and Unity Event.

Capacity and usage figures
  • £500 million international events venue
  • 100,000 m2 (89,093 m2 event halls)
  • £13 million investment in IT infrastructure including bandwidth >90Mb
  • The ICC Auditorium has a capacity of 5,000 delegates
  • The ICC Capital Suite (conference suite) has a capacity of between 88 and 1,190 delegates
  • The Platinum Suite (conference suite) has a capacity of between 400 and 1,100 delegates
  • 45 meeting rooms - 50 to 200 delegates
  • Capacity: 70,000 visitors per day
  • 5 on-site hotels, providing 1,500 rooms
  • 6,000 car parking spaces - 3,700 onsite
  • Since 2000, ExCeL has hosted over 3,500 events and welcomed over 10 million visitors from over 200 different countries
Corporate Social Responsibility

ExCeL London sponsors a variety of initiatives that make social and economic contributions to the local community in Newham, where levels of social deprivation are high.

In 2007, ExCeL declared a commitment to uphold the principles of the United Nations Global Compact in the areas of human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption. It is a member of the Mayors Green 500, a London Development Agency initiative to encourage the Capital’s top organisations to collectively cut carbon emissions.

The Environment ExCeL London was rated number 44 in the Sunday Times top 60 Green Companies 2009 in the UK – the only venue to be listed and official recognition of the ExCeLs ongoing commitment to the environment. ExCeL has adopted best practice initiatives in the following areas:

Food waste Since 2007, ExCeL London has operated the UK's largest commercial wormery which it uses to recycle food waste which converts all food waste into nutrient rich soil. In addition, the onsite recycling facility for the other waste materials produced as a result of our business activities has enabled the venue to recycled 78% of the waste produced.

Energy In 2008, ExCeL London reduced gas consumption by 64% and electricity by 17% compared to 2006 which was the nearest equivalent year in terms of number and size of shows held at the venue. Using The Carbon Trust's Greenhouse Gas conversion figures, this equates to a 33% reduction in total CO2 consumption for 2008. In addition, CO2 emissions have been cut by a large 3,937 tonnes (27.15%). Further energy-saving and emission-reducing initiatives are in the pipeline.

Community In 2008, more than £400,000 was invested in local activities, most of which focused on making a difference to the people of Newham with projects aimed at education and employment, health and nutrition, sports promotion plus charitable and in-kind giving. These projects include:

  • The 'ExCeL in Arts' Camp; an annual festival run in association with the London Borough of Newham, the Newham Academy of Music and the Festival of Youth Arts (FYA). In 2008, more than 180 Newham youngsters took part in a series of workshops including Advanced Chamber Music, Beginners Chamber Music, Dance, Drama, Music Production and Fashion. ExCeL also awarded scholarships to children taking part, enabling them to develop further by funding the purchase of instruments and more coaching.
  • In 2007, ExCeL joined forces with Community Food Enterprise (CFE) to launch Juice4Life; an initiative seeking to improve nutrition among teenagers living in the Borough by giving them access to tasty, healthy and affordable drinks. Part of its on-going role is to help establish 'mobile juice unit' enterprise schemes as a viable business.

ExCeL has also recently supported:

  • Britain's Got Talent - First Auditions- Television Programme
  • Newham Academy of Sport – Talent Identification programme in local schools
  • Under The Stars – Newham Council's four day musical extravaganza
  • Sponsorship of potential 2012 judo athlete – 17 year old Theodore Spalding - as part of the 'Britain's got Talent' project
  • Eastside Young Leaders Academy (EYLA) nurturing leadership potential of young African and Caribbean males, empowering them to become the next generation of successful leaders.
  • Ascension Eagles Cheerleaders (AEC)
  • Young Enterprise Scheme
  • Newham Sixth Form College Community Service Awards
  • Britannia Village Primary School

Employment In 2008, ExCeL London contributed more than £800m to the London economy and was responsible for supporting 26,000 jobs. Nearly 2/3 of ExCeL's employees live in East London and over ¼ are from Newham.

Transport links

ExCeL London is served by two light rail stations. The main western entrance is directly linked to Custom House for ExCel station and the eastern entrance is connected to Prince Regent station, both of which are served by the Docklands Light Railway (DLR). During major shows with large visitor attendances, extra shuttle trains are run between the venue and Canning Town station, with interchange at Canning Town station to London Underground's Jubilee Line. ExCeL London is 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.


For the 2012 Summer Olympics, ExCeL London will be divided into four sports halls with capacities ranging from 6,000 to 10,000 that will be used for boxing, fencing, judo, taekwondo, table tennis, weightlifting and wrestling. Previous sporting events which have taken place at ExCeL London include:

  • World Wrestling Entertainment's SmackDown! on 22 April 2005: featuring wrestling matches such as John Cena and The Big Show vs John "Bradshaw" Layfield and Orlando Jordan, a Cruiserweight Championship Battle Royale, Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio vs MNM for the WWE Tag Team Championship and Kurt Angle vs The Undertaker.
  • Two boxing matches on 10 December 2005: The first, between British heavyweights Danny Williams and Audley Harrison; the second, between Amir Khan and Daniel Thorpe.
  • A boxing match on 22 April 2008 between Amir Khan and Gairy St. Clair for the World Boxing Organization intercontinental lightweight title.
  • The 2009 Mazda London Triathlon on 1–2 August, with one of the halls acting as a transition area and the waterfront being used for the exit of the swimming leg.
Other events

ExCeL London has hosted the following events:

  • The G20 London Summit on Stability, Growth & Jobs in April 2009
  • Each May and October, The London MCM Expo multi-genre convention is held at ExCeL.
  • Since 2001, the biannual U.K. arms fair DSEi, most recently on 08–11 September 2009.
  • In 2005, the Bollywood cultural event, the 2005 Zee Cine Awards for the first time in the event's history.
  • British International Motor Show 2006 & 2008 attracting over 400,000 visitors to the venue and included a Music Festival with live performances in a 5,000 capacity purpose-built arena each night of the motor show.
  • Between 27–29 April 2007, the 2007 London Guitar Show (LGS). The show featured two masterclasses on the Saturday with Steve Vai, in which time he answered questions asked by fans through the LGS website prior to the show, and from fans at the masterclass.
  • Between 13–15 July 2007, the Star Wars Celebration Europe; the first Star Wars fan event of its kind held outside the United States which attracted nearly 40,000 visitors over the three days.
  • In October 2007, the 2007 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards, the first time it was held in the U.K.
  • In 2007, was the Permanence - the operational and media headquarters - for the Grand Départ of the Tour de France.
  • On 26 April 2008, the Bollywood cultural event, the 2008 Zee Cine Awards for the second time.
  • On 27 May 2008, the Ahmadiyya Khilafat (Caliphate) Centenary, one of the important events in history of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community was held.
  • On 31 October 2008, Stuff Live, a yearly show sponsored by the magazine, What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision.
  • On 2 April 2009, annual G-20 Leaders' Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy, commonly called The London Summit 2009, the largest gathering of world leaders London has seen since the first United Nations General Assembly in 1946.
  • Between 1–2 May 2010, The X Factor held open auditions which attracted over 10,000 people.
  • Between 29–31 May 2009, Clothes Show London returned to the capital.
  • The X Factor filmed four days of the London Live Auditions in front of 5,000 people.
  • On February 2010, the One Young World Summit.


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