BE THE FIRST TO TAKE TEA TO QUEEN ELIZABETH OLYMPIC PARK

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is looking for the first food and drink supplier to open on the new Park.

The Park’s owners, the London Legacy Development Corporation, are asking for expressions of interest from experienced café operators to lease and operate an 80 seat café and community and events space in the north of the Park.

This will be one of the first areas of the Park to open once it has been adapted for legacy use. The café will be purpose built by Bam Nuttall and will be adjacent to one of the best children’s playgrounds in the UK.

The £1million playground has been funded by the London Marathon Charitable Trust and is a spectacularly imaginative approach to children’s play. The indicative designs show how the playground could include play areas separated by birch and hazel woodlands and a pine forest for children to explore. Log piles will create excellent hiding spots for a game of hide and seek as well as providing ecological benefits by providing dark corners for insects to make their home. The design is based on a combination of learning and imagination to really inspire children’s creativity.

The café, events space and playground are situated in the north of the Park which is dominated by beautiful green parklands, meadows and the waterways of the River Lea, an area which proved immensely popular with visitors during the Games.

The Legacy Corporation will work closely with the café operator to bring events to this space and encourage people to visit the café.

The operator will also be responsible for the management of the community and events space and will have a real opportunity to create something that will be part of the Park and the surrounding community.

The North Park will open on 27th July 2013, exactly one year after the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games and the Legacy Corporation expects the café to open around the same time.

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will open in phases from July 2013, starting with the North Park and expanding to the whole site by spring 2014.

Dennis Hone, interim Chief Executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation said:

“This is a fantastic opportunity to be not just the first food supplier on the Park but to become part of the community. The café is situated in the green oasis of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and this café and events space will be the beating heart of this area. It will become a place for parents to relax whilst children explore the delights of the adjacent play area, it will be somewhere to have a cool drink on a warm day or to stop off for a bite to eat after building up an appetite messing about on the river. Alongside the café the events space could be used for learning, exhibitions, celebrations – whatever local people need. This will be one of the first areas of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to open; it will be the centre from which the rest of the Park will unfold.”

Across the 226 hectare (560 acre) Park there will be two permanent cafes and four permanent kiosks. There is scope for a further café close to the bridge to Westfield Stratford City, a floating restaurant on the waterways, a large restaurant or bar on the highest point in the Park, known as the Belvedere and a variety of food festivals, mobile carts and pop up dining experiences.

The North Park café will be the first of these to open; it has space for up to 80 indoor diners and a further 120 at table seating outside. It also has a flexible space for events and local community use. The café is next to the Park’s main outdoor playground, which will have some of the most imaginative play facilities in the UK including materials to build dens, dams and locks.

The café is situated in the north of the Park with views on three sides, south into the Park towards the Stadium, north-west over the river and north across the playground and is situated on the main east to west route through the Park.

The café will be close to the VeloPark and the new residential districts of Chobham Manor (to be built on the site of the Basketball Arena) and East Village (formerly the Athletes’ Village). It will be open daily providing snacks, light refreshments, meals and healthy eating options for Park visitors.

The Legacy Corporation is seeking an organisation or partnership of organisations to operate the café and the community rooms.

The community rooms cover almost 150m² and open out on to a lawn enclosed by hazel woodland, which could also be used for events. This room could be used by schools and community groups; it may be a regular home for classes such as art, dance or yoga, or host one off events such as talks and lectures as well as potentially being privately hired for parties, civil ceremonies and other events.

The food on offer in the Park should reflect the communities surrounding the Park and the Legacy Corporation is keen to attract local businesses and organizations, particularly small or medium sized businesses, to take up opportunities like the North Park café.

The Legacy Corporation is also developing a Food Charter setting out minimum standards for all food operators across the Park. The café operator will be expected to sign up to the Charter which builds on the Food Vision of the Games and will include guidelines for sustainability in food, healthy catering commitments and catering for special diets.

After the Games the Olympic site will be transformed into Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. This will be a brand new piece of the city with its own E20 post code. Named Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, in recognition of the Queen’s Jubilee year, it will become an exciting new visitor destination and community park.

Its creation will be one of the biggest construction projects in Europe. An 18 month transformation programme will take place after the Games, laying the foundations for further development across east London over the next 20 years. The transformation has three main objectives: To clear Games-time structures including temporary venues, bridges, walkways and roads; to connect the Park to the surrounding area with new roads, cycle and foot paths; and to complete permanent venues, bridges and parklands ready for residents’ and visitors’ everyday use.