400 expected at Canary Wharf Purim celebration

Approximately 400 people are expected to pack the East Wintergarden in Canary Wharf on 24 February to celebrate the Jewish festival of Purim.

The gathering features live music and a spectacular buffet lunch and will include members of Jewish community groups from around London and employees working on Canary Wharf. The Stepney, Dennis, Brenner, Schonfeld Square, Sam Beckman and Nightingale House Centres and Homes will be represented, along with the East London Orthodox Synagogues Association. Students from Menorah Girls High will also be attending in fancy dress.

Canary Wharf Group plc (CWG) is providing buses to transport elderly to and from Stepney Day Care and sending gifts of food, packages known as Mishloach Manot, to the various Homes and Day Centres. Pupils from Menorah Primary School will be distributing the packages at the Stepney Day Centre.

Danny Seliger, Associate Director – Administration for CWG, said:

“Purim is one of the most cheerful festivals in the Jewish calendar and it’s great to be able to bring all of these groups together to celebrate at Canary Wharf. These festivals are an important part of our ongoing programme to support the local community in a wide range of ways.”

Purim is told in the Book of Esther which is read from a scroll called a Megillah. The one day festival begins on Saturday evening, 27th February. It tells the story of an evil man called Haman who tried to destroy the Jews of the Persian Empire. Customs include eating Hamantaschen, small pastries filled with poppy seeds, sending gifts of food, known as Mishloach Manot and sending gifts to poor people.

The Canary Wharf Purim celebration runs from 12.00-2.00pm on Wednesday, 24 February at East Wintergarden, Bank Street, London E14.

About Canary Wharf Group plc (CWG)

CWG is an integrated property development, investment and management group of companies. It is focused on the design, construction, leasing and management of Grade A office space and high quality retail and leisure facilities on its 97 acre Estate in East London.

Over the past 20 years CWG has regenerated derelict wharves into one of the world’s premier business districts, constructing over 15 million sq ft of office and retail space – more than any other company in London.

Canary Wharf is home to some of the world’s leading business organisations, including in the professional services; media, law, energy, financial services and transport sectors. It is also home to over 200 shops, bars, cafes and restaurants – including many of Britain’s leading brands. The working population is approximately 93,000.

The Estate includes 20 acres of landscaped parks and plazas. Canary Wharf hosts over 180 events a year and has one of the UK’s largest collections of public art.

As at 30 June 2009 the Canary Wharf Group investment portfolio was 97.7% let. The weighed average unexpired lease length was 16.9 years.
CWG was named one of the Sunday Times Best 60 Green Companies in the UK in 2009.

Canary Wharf is set for further expansion. In 2009, CWG commenced work on the Canary Wharf Crossrail Station and has continued work on a new European Headquarters for J.P. Morgan. The opening by KPMG, State Street and Fitch Ratings of new office buildings on the Estate in 2009 and 2010 will also bring thousands of new workers to Canary Wharf on a daily basis.

Passengers on the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) are set for a significant expansion in service as the first of a fleet of new three-carriage trains went into public service today.

An extra carriage is being added to trains on the railway’s busiest route, Bank – Lewisham, to provide 50 per cent more space for passengers, which will allow DLR to meet increasing demand and cater for passengers for the London 2012 Games.

A £325 million two and half year upgrade programme has taken place across the DLR network to allow the longer trains to run, which has included extending platforms, upgrading junctions and track, remodelling Tower Gateway station and building a new South Quay station.

The £325m programme includes:

Lengthened platforms

A new £22m South Quay station

Upgraded track and infrastructure, including innovative junctions that allow two trains to pass simultaneously

A £13m upgrade to Tower Gateway station, including new canopies and energy efficient escalators

Fifty-five new carriages, bought for £100m to supplement the existing fleet and enable the three-car trains to run, have improved interior layout to give more room and easier exit and entrance.

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, said: “As the Olympics approaches, the DLR has struck gold with a huge 50 per cent increase in capacity – the perfect example of the Olympic legacy already delivering real improvements for Londoners. This £325m boost is not only integral to preparations for ferrying spectators to the 2012 games, but it will also benefit the many thousands of people who use this popular and handy railway.”

Hugh Sumner, Transport Director for the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) which contributed £25m of funding to the new three-car trains, said: “The DLR will play a key role in our plans for a Public Transport Games, helping us move thousands of spectators in 2012. The start of the new three-car services is an important milestone and shows that passengers are already benefiting from London 2012 transport well before the Games begin.”

Jonathan Fox, Director DLR, said: “Today marks another major milestone for DLR and its passengers as our network is further enhanced and improved. With three-car trains being rolled out on the Bank-Lewisham line, and the Stratford International extension set to open later this year, we are in great shape to meet passenger demand now and over the course of the next few years.”

Three-car trains are being introduced on the Bank-Lewisham line and will be rolled out across the network as demand requires. The Bank-Lewisham line serves stations including Canary Wharf, Greenwich and Limehouse.

Upgrades have been completed on all parts of the DLR network aside from the Canning Town – Beckton route, which will be three-car ready in early 2011.

Notes to Editor

1. Almost 70m journeys are made annually on DLR

2. The DLR is expected to carry up to 500,000 people a day during the Games, more than double the current weekday average

3. Fifty-five new carriages are being added to the DLR fleet to enable three-car operation. They have been delivered over the last two years at a cost of £100m and are funded by Transport for London (£80m) and the ODA (£20m).

4. Of the £325m three-car upgrade programme TfL have contributed the main financial support, with the remainder provided by the ODA (£25m), development contributions (£10m), Homes and Communities Agency (£5.4m) and London Development Agency (£2m)

TfL Press Office
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