I welcome the proposed Arcelor Mittal Tower in the Olympic Park, which the Mayor announced to the world yesterday, and feel it will be a great draw during and after the Games themselves in 2012. However, while issues of the cost and planning were dealt with at the launch’s question and answer session yesterday, l went away not quite sure who will end up owning the Tower.
If the number of Chinese visitors to the Bird’s Nest in Beijing is anything to go by, then we can expect thousands of people daily visiting the Mittal Tower, drawn by the prospect of seeing the Olympic Park and beyond from its vantage point at the top. l am sure an attraction like this, priced in the right way, will generate a more than steady income to cover the management and maintenance costs. As it appears that most of the cost of erecting the tower will be underwritten by Mr Mittal’s generosity, we won’t have huge loans to service.
Mr Mittal will get his tower and name in the London skyline for perpetuity. So hopefully he will agree to hand ownership over to a body that will use the income from the tower to subsidise other activities and events on the Olympic site that aren’t necessarily going to attract quite so many visitors and ensure that they are kept going long after the Olympic Games bandwagon has left town.