18 September 2012

Let the Games' legacy begin

WORK to ensure a lasting legacy for the Olympic Park has already begun, with £292million set aside to transform the area.

The park, which will be known as the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, is due to reopen to the public in stages. One third of the whole site is in Hackney.

It will be developed in phases, with part of the new North Park opening on 27 July next year. Work is due to be completed by next December. It is set to be one of the most unique and beautiful green spaces in London.

The next stage is to develop the South Plaza, which is scheduled to be finished by March 2014.

Everyone will have the opportunity to use the sporting venues where history was made during the Games.

Visitors can swim in the Aquatics Centre’s two 50 metre swimming pools; or ride around the VeloPark – which centres on the Velodrome – and has track, BMX, road and mountain bike facilities for the total beginner through to professional athletes.

The area bordering Hackney Wick will be transformed into a commercial district focused on the Press and Broadcast Centres, which will become a world-class hub of innovation, technology and enterprise, generating more than 4,000 jobs.

The Copper Box, which is also in Hackney, will open as a multi-use arena next year. Visitors will be able to take part in, or watch, a vast array of sports including volleyball, wheelchair basketball, judo, badminton and gymnastics.

Those venues, together with the Lee Valley Tennis Centre, and Lee Valley Hockey Centre, will form part of the North Park hub.

In the South Plaza, the Olympic Stadium and Aquatics Centre are due to reopen in spring 2014.

East Village – the former Athletes’ Village – will be converted to new housing, opening in 2013. Five further neighbourhoods will be built over the next 20 years with 7,000 new homes, as well as schools, nurseries, health centres and a library.

Interim chief executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation, Dennis Hone, said: “We want to ensure residents in Hackney, and the other host boroughs, gain from the fantastic jobs, homes, leisure and recreational facilities that will be available to communities surrounding the Park.”

New roads, bus routes, walkways, cycle paths, bridges and footpaths will be built, connecting Hackney to the Park and the surrounding areas, including Stratford – with its superb local, regional, national and international transport connections.

A programme of local and international festivals, exhibitions and events will be programmed as the park re-opens.

For more information about the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, visit: www.noordinarypark.co.uk

An artistic impression of the future South Plaza in the Olympic Park

An artistic impression of the future South Plaza in the Olympic Park

An artistic impression of the future South Plaza in the Olympic Park Artistic impression of the future Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Artistic impression of the future Media Centre

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