Norwich’s London 2012 Olympic big screen to be sold-off

The tennis at Wimbledon was among the broadcasts on the big screen in Chapelfield Plain.

The tennis at Wimbledon was among the broadcasts on the big screen in Chapelfield Plain. - Credit: Submitted - January 2012

A giant television screen put up at the entrance to Norwich's Chapelfield Shopping Centre as part of the build-up and celebration of the London 2012 Olympics is due to be sold.

Norwich City Council wants a buyer for Big Screen Norwich, which has been based in Chapelfield Plain since 2008.

The authority owns the screen and received it for free as part of a project involving the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (Locog), the BBC and Chapelfield.

Money raised from the sale will go into the council's budget, with the intention that it be used to fund temporary big screens for forthcoming events. The council has put out a contract tender, valued at up to £50,000, requesting a supplier to come forward and remove the digital screen.

A city council spokesman said: 'The big screen in Norwich has been a really successful partnership between the city council, Chapelfield, the BBC and Locog. This culminated in the amazing coverage of both the Olympic and Paralympic Games.


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'But this technology now needs refreshing, so with the funds we raise from getting someone to take it down and re-use it, we'll be able to bring portable screens to the city, which will introduce greater flexibility in terms of their usage by allowing us to show national events with wide appeal.'

The 6.7-metre by 3.7-metre LCD screen televised the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games in Beijing, China, in 2008, as well as other sporting occasions, community events, movies and even an opera.

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But it was reported in 2008 that Norwich City Council and Norfolk police gave the go-ahead for the screen as long as football matches were not shown.

This was because the space outside Chapelfield was said to be capable of holding a maximum of 800 people, with demand for a high-profile football game expected to exceed that number.

Superintendent Sarah Francis at the time insisted she did not want to be a 'party pooper or the anti-fun police' but the area needed to be managed properly and football games could prove difficult to police.

Locog said yesterday it was unable to confirm the initial cost of the screen.

Will you miss the big screen? Write to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE, or email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk

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