In Focus | Olympics London 2012

London plans lasting post-Olympic legacy

Proposal already in place to transform east part of city

  • By Alaric Gomes, Senior Reporter
  • Published: 21:30 August 13, 2012
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: EPA
  • A general view during the Closing Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, London, Britain, 12 August 2012.

London: A £300m (Dh1.8billion) construction project run by the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) will transform the Olympic site into the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, due to open in phases from the end of July 2013.

The LLDC was established in 2009 and its development plans for the Olympic Park include removing temporary venues, transforming permanent venues into everyday use, building new roads and bridges, all with the aim of furthering the regeneration that has already taken place in Stratford, east London.

The future of six of the eight permanent venues located in the Park has already been secured with appointed operators, while the stadiums will be modified to allow them to cater for the local community at grassroots level, as well as continuing to host high-performance events.

“London has set a benchmark by forming a legacy body three years before the Games,” Peter Tudor, Director of Venues, LLDC, told a group of media during a visit to the Main Press Centre (MPC) here.

“The Olympic Park has been built with legacy in mind; there are three temporary venues and the permanent ones can easily be reduced in size and adapted for daily use,” he revealed.

Up to 8,000 permanent jobs will have been created by 2030, in addition to another 2,500 temporary construction jobs, and training and apprenticeship opportunities that will focus on local people. “And we will also create five new neighbourhoods, building up to 8,000 new homes, as well as new schools, health centres and other community centres,” Tudor added.

Another lasting legacy of the Olympic Park is the amount of green space that has been introduced to that area of London. “It will leave behind over 22 miles of interlinking pathways, waterways and cycle paths, and more than 250 acres of open space. By 2016, it is estimated that more than nine million visitors per year will visit the Queen Elizabeth Park,” he added.

The new Park will re-open in phases, starting exactly one year after the opening ceremony of the Games on July 27, 2013. “London’s Olympic legacy was rooted in the creation of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park – a place that will become one of the most thriving parts of London. The creation of thousands of new homes and jobs will bring huge benefits to the area,” said Andrew Altman, Chief Executive, LLDC.

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