FAMILIES AND SPORT AT THE HEART OF LONDON’S QUEEN ELIZABETH OLYMPIC PARK

Today, as Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, announced the legacy name for the Olympic Park, plans were outlined for one of the most exciting developments in London’s history.

The Park will bring together the best of London in one place. At its core will be the creation of family-focused neighbourhoods; making the Park a top visitor destination; ensuring the venues provide a lasting sporting legacy; the creation of commercial and job opportunities and helping to stitch together the area’s communities through new transport connections.

Five neighbourhoods, with much-needed family homes will be at the heart of this new piece of London. Responding to market, community and public demand; the Olympic Park Legacy Company has emphasised family homes with the aim of establishing a network of facilities, including new schools, nurseries, health centres, faith and community spaces to support them.

Business, creativity and innovation will also be running themes, led by a creative district in the north-west of the site, and 3 Mills Studios to the south of the Park.

Margaret Ford, Chair of the Olympic Park Legacy Company, said:

“The Olympic Park will have an extraordinary set of venues and open spaces, but its soul will come from the families that use them. They are at the heart of our plans to create a place focused on community-living, sport and entertainment.”

New mixed-housing and commercial developments, inspired by the best of London’s design and architecture, will be developed by 2030. They will sit among 250 acres of open spaces, 3km of rejuvenated waterways and sporting venues. The Park will be a magnet for community sport, international events and cultural attractions.

Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, said:

“The Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012 will be just the beginning of the story for East London. The OPLC has created an inspirational vision for the Park that meets the needs of the existing community and opens the door to new residents and investors.  It will be a unique hub of social, sporting, cultural, environmental and economic excellence which will benefit the city for decades to come.”

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, said:

“Not since Georgian England has London seen such an ambitious and comprehensive vision for a new district. Our plans seek to combine the classical best of this city with the greatest benefits of modern urban living. Beautiful spaces, high quality family homes, spectacular facilities, excellent shopping, and unrivalled transport links in Europe’s largest new urban park.  This is deliberately designed to capture the most attractive features of the Georgian age, to ensure our own Elizabethan age sets London up for generations to come.”

Bob Neill MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, said:

“This is an exciting time for the people of East London. They’re already set to host the greatest games event in the world and the Olympic Park Legacy Company’s new twenty year vision for the area means the future beyond 2012 is full of promise.  
“This vision has the potential to transform East London so that it grows and prospers with the rest of the capital. And we are committed to working with the OPLC and the Mayor to help meet this potential, bring in new business and nurture the vibrant heart of the local community.”

Andrew Altman, Chief Executive of the Olympic Park Legacy Company, said:

“This is one of the boldest urban transformations in the world – building on the best of London to become one of the city’s great places.”

The Legacy Company is enhancing connections in and around the site. These include new road and foot bridges to Fish Island in Tower Hamlets, and the planned introduction of a new high street running from the north of the Park to the Olympic Village, forming a key link between Leyton and Hackney.

It is anticipated that there could be between 8,000 and 10,000 jobs created on the site over the long term. These are in addition to 8,500 jobs in Westfield Stratford City when it opens in 2011.

Family homes

The long-term ambition to create a family-focused environment will see up to 11,000 new homes, including the flats now being built within the Olympic Village, developed over the next 25 years.

The plans for family homes will combine tradition and innovation with the development including modern versions of traditional London’s Georgian and Victorian squares and terraces, as well as riverside properties.

The Legacy Company’s housing strategy, to build family homes, has taken into consideration the number of high-density developments already being planned for the local area, the current state of the market, the positive response by developers and, importantly, the desire of people who want to live and work in the area.

The first of the five neighbourhoods to be developed will be in the north-east of the Park, with work due to commence in 2014. The number of affordable homes will be in line with the London Plan.

(Note: see ‘family homes’ press release for further information on our ‘The future of the Park’ page)

Getting a feel for the Park and its venues

Two distinctive parks were outlined in the plans shown today – a more urban entertainment plaza in the south, where, around the Stadium, the Aquatics Centre and the 115 m tall ArcelorMittal Orbit, will be a crossroads for sport, culture and quality design with a rolling programme of events from mid 2013 when the Park reopens in legacy.

This area will sit next to Europe’s largest urban shopping centre, Westfield Stratford City, and Stratford station, one of London’s largest transport hubs, served by nine train and tube lines, and a planned Crossrail stop.

The north of the Park features a river valley, centred around waterways, parkland and green space – offering outdoor activities including play areas and cycle paths. Cyclists will  also be able to use the Velodrome, outdoor road circuits and off-road trails at the Velopark, while others may choose to play hockey or tennis at neighbouring Eton Manor sports complex, with both venues managed by the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority.

A new creative district will sit in the north-west of the Park in Hackney. It will be a mixed-use commercial and family housing area with the Press and Broadcast Centre’s campus-style business environment. The multi-use arena will border both of these distinctive areas, becoming a hub for community activity by offering a range of indoor sports and the opportunity to host cultural and business events.

The venues will reopen, after phased transformation, between 2013 and 2015 and the Legacy Company will work with National Governing Bodies for sport and the Government and the Mayor’s Office to bid to host international sporting events, such as European and World championships.

The Legacy Company also owns 3 Mills Studios to the south-east of the Olympic Park. The Studios, which will complement the area’s creative offer, are already providing new business opportunities with the London 2012 Ceremonies and Torch Relay teams using the site as its production base.