The phased opening of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (home of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games) is under way. The Olympics anniversary weekend will be celebrated with two events on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park – Open East Festival in the north of the Park and the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games in the former Olympic Stadium. Dennis Hone, Chief Executive, London Legacy Development Corporation, said:
We want to recapture the magic of the Games one year on. That is why we are opening certain areas of the Park ahead of schedule – to give people a glimpse of what they can expect to see when it fully re-opens in spring next year. We’ve got a fantastic line-up of events to celebrate the anniversary, from athletics to children’s events that the whole family can enjoy.
Ahead of the anniversary weekend the Summer Events Series includes Hard Rock Calling featuring Kasabian and Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band and Yahoo! Wireless headlined by Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake.
Areas of the north of the Park will start to open to the public from 29 July. It is expected that residents living closest to the Park will form the bulk of the crowds until the Park fully opens in spring 2014.
The Olympic Stadium will host the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games: (26-28 July) bringing athletics back to the stadium for the first time since the Olympics.
The Copper Box is the first venue to open on a full-time basis as the new home to the London Lions basketball team (27 July).
Park-wide sports events include the Prudential Ride London: (3-4 August), the largest cycling event in the UK and a Festival of Disability Sport (7 September)
The majority of the Park remains a construction site as the Legacy Corporation continues with its ‘Clear, Connect, Complete’ programme to remove Games-time overlay, finish the venues and connect the Park to the surrounding areas.
Transformation details include:
- 2,274,000 hours worked on site up to the end of May
- 1,355 people on site at peak
- 60 apprentices in total (97 per cent from the local area)
- 250,000m3 of soil has been re-used across the site which equates to 312,500 tonnes of material
- 10 temporary bridges have been moved and reinstated by the time the Park is complete
- The number of new trees planted on the site to date is 1,380 and there will be 4,300 in total
- Copper Box – first venue to open on 27 July, 2013
- North of the Park – Timber Lodge including Unity Kitchen Cafe, Tumbling Bay playground, and parklands opening to the public from 29 July
- Aquatics centre – original design revealed following removal of temporary external structures
- Stadium transformation works have been granted planning permission
- Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre – New tennis courts and hockey pitches are on target for completion in late 2013
- South Park – transformation works on landscaping has started
- Removal of temporary bridges to create permanent landscaping
- Northern retail access route relocated this will become Waterden Road.
Transformation – What next?
- Lee Valley VeloPark – Cycle circuit and BMX conversion works to be completed
- Stadium – Following planning permission, works to commence on site later in the year
- East Marsh – Football pitches reinstated
- Aquatics Centre – Completion of internal fit out and external landscaping.
Reuse, recycle, re-locate
3,000 seats from the Basketball Arena have been reused in the permanent hockey seating at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre.