Olympic team to Czech into design centre

EXCITING daily events will be held when Islington’s Business Design Centre becomes the official building for the Czech Republic 2012 Olympic entourage.

The exhibition complex in Upper Street will be transformed into the ‘Czech Olympic House’ and it will accommodate the country’s Olympic committee.

The massive venue will showcase Czech theatre, dancing and music performances and include a restaurant, a merchandising area, a media house and a large Olympic screen.

Dominic Jones, chief executive of the Business Design Centre, said: “We are very proud to be housing the Czech Olympic Committee for the duration of the 2012 Games. We look forward to welcoming all representatives from the Czech Republic both to the venue and the area of Islington in what will be an unforgettable summer.”

The centre will aim to ‘introduce and promote the Czech Republic, its regions, economy and culture’ during the competition which runs from July 27 until August 12.

Plans are afoot for daily and evening events and exhibitions focusing on different aspects of the Czech Republic.

Ji?� Kejval, vice president of the Czech Olympic Committee, said: “We are pleased to have reached an agreement with the Business Design Centre. It is our ambition to open up this space to all lovers of sport and culture during the Games. We want to bring something of the spirit of both the Czech Republic and the Olympics to Islington and combine them in a truly memorable way.”

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Councillor Catherine West, leader of Islington Council, said: “The Olympics will be an unforgettable time for Islington. I’m delighted the Czech Olympic Committee will be joining our community to share the experience alongside our residents.”

Lynn Brady, who lives in Barford Street, Islington, fears the Olympic House could become a nightmare for nearby residents because she claims the performance hall of the Business Design Centre is not properly sound proofed and the area outside where vehicles are serviced can cause traffic chaos.

She said: “If the Business Design Centre used its profits on sound proofing and the servicing area then they would be good neighbours - but they’re not. We have always had sound nuisance problems. We love the Olympics but they need to consider the impact on residents. It will be an unforgettable summer - like they say - because we won’t get any sleep.”

The plan to turn the Business Design Centre into the Czech Olympic House was officially approved by the Islington Council planning committee at a meeting in Islington Town Hall last Tuesday.