853 exclusive: Plans for an Olympic campsite on Greenwich Peninsula are being scaled back after Dutch firm Oranjecamping pulled out of the project just weeks before its planned opening date.
Tickets are still being sold for Oranjecamping London, but the firm will now no longer be operating the site, whose backers hoped to attract 4,000 campers to plots of land close to Greenwich Millennium Village.
Only one of the three plots of land originally earmarked for the site will now be used, and there has been little sign of work on building the campsite, due to open on Wednesday 25 July. Only the plot nearest GMV – which has been home to the Meantime Nursery – will be used.
It is not known why Oranjecamping has pulled out of running the project, which is part of the Peninsula Festival which is due to run alongside the Games.
Peninsula Festival boss Frank Dekker confirmed the news to this website, adding “we are working hard to minimise the impact of this change for the residents, wider community and the festival”.
“We are continuing to run the Peninsula Festival with a community big screen showing live Olympics, live music performances, entertainment in the fan zone and VIP treatments and business seminars in the Connect Village.
“Our guests will have the opportunity to stay at the campsite on the Peninsula, and we continue our close working relationships with The Beach London and Sail Royal Greenwich.”
Oranjecamping has run campsites for Dutch sports fans at past international football tournaments, and has been playing host to supporters at Kharkiv, Ukraine, ahead of the Netherlands’ elimination from Euro 2012 last night.
It was due to have been Oranjecamping’s first Olympic Games, with founder Jokko De Wit posing with Greenwich Council cabinet member John Fahy in a tent when it was launched last September. The Oranjecamping site had been planned to complement the Dutch team base across London at Alexandra Palace, which will be known as “Heineken House”.
However, while the company won’t be running the site, a message on its Facebook page reads: “We hope you have enjoyed Oranjecamping. See you in London.”
Other Peninsula Festival events are still due to go ahead. The beach is scheduled to be open by Saturday 20 July, when the London Soul and Blues Festival, featuring Jools Holland and Bill Wyman, opens.
However, on Sunday evening the site at Delta Wharf was still vacant and empty, even down to an empty security cabin at its front entrance.
The festival’s concert area, which is on the other side of Greenwich Millennium Village by John Harrison Way, also shows no sign of any work taking place. Three events are confirmed as taking place there so far, of Dutch house music, the Eastern Electrics dance festival, and Turkish musician Beduk, with an I Love Jamaica Day event also planned.
Seminars and business networking events are also planned, while Greenwich Council has given £50,000 towards a big screen showing Olympic events along with other community activities.
A separate Dutch enterprise, Sail Royal Greenwich, is also gearing up to launch, selling cruises on tall ships up and down the Thames. It recently opened up to individual bookings (at £59 each) after initially aiming at corporate customers.
Monday 3.30pm update More on Sail Royal Greenwich – while it’s understood sales have been sluggish, its backers remain confident the event will sell well, and the say the event will definitely happen, with ships under contract to take part in it. I guess the ships themselves, when they arrive, might be the best ad for it…