London mayor Ken Livingstone has thrown his political weight behind plans for a new £250m convention centre in the capital.
An independent commission under the mayor's control claimed yesterday that a new centre would boost the UK economy by £400 million a year.
According to the commission, it is thought that such a facility - to be taken forward as a joint venture between the public and private sector - will bring 5,500 jobs to the capital.
The commission will consider a number of potential sites for the development over the next six to nine months before deciding on the next step - likely to involve a hotly contested design competition.
The convention centre would need to have a three-tiered auditorium for 3,000-5,000 people; two or three additional meeting spaces for about 800 and 400 delegates and an immediately adjacent meeting and exhibition space of 10,000m 2
The commission was set up in 2004 by Livingstone to investigate the potential for a new international convention centre. by Rob Sharp