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UKFH not derailed by iCity bid

Organisers of the UK Fashion Hub have said they are committed to the concept and will find another location if the bid to take on the Olympic Park site after the Games is unsuccessful.

UKFH withdrew from the bid this weekend after leaked documents emerged suggesting rival bidder iCity, a technology hub, was the preferred bidder.

But the creators of the fashion bid, which would have brought together designers, manufacturers and distributors in one centre, are confident their plans will not be derailed by the news.

“We think our bid on the site is the correct one – it answers all the issues that need to be resolved, and we are still hopeful that there will be a route to creating it either on this site or another one,” said spokesman Gavin Ambrose.

“Our priority would be the Olympic Park, because it’s the right place to do it, but we are not going to drop the idea just because we can’t do it on that site.”

However, the process would likely take longer as UKFH would look to “tailor” its bid to address needs specific to that location.  

UKFH is now looking at sites in other areas of London. Although Ambrose declined to name locations, it is thought they include another site in East London and Wembley.

He also dismissed rumours that its funder had backed out, claiming links with investor Resolution had been severed more than a year ago.

A mainline pensions fund is now backing the project, and will continue to support alternative sites as long as “similar criteria” are met, Ambrose said. He declined to name the fund, although that information will be made available further down the line.

And while Ambrose said he believed there had been “irregularities” in the bid process, UKFH would not be making a formal complaint at this stage.

“We are still open to conversation – we are not closing any doors,” he said. “We still think the fashion hub is the correct bid for that site, so we will do whatever we can to make it happen.”

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