Three organisations have been shortlisted: Greenwich Leisure Limited, Parkwood Leisure and Serco Group. The chosen operator from this shortlist will be appointed in early 2012.
The two venues will become a focal point for improving sports participation by offering a packed programme of events, coaching and community uses. Working with the Legacy Company, the chosen operator’s role will include developing pathways for sporting clubs across London, promoting local employment opportunities and championing accessibility.
The Aquatics Centre will have 2,500 seats after the Games which can be extended to 3,500 for bigger events and will become a centre for community and competitive swimming and other aquatic disciplines. It is planned to reopen in 2014.
The 7,500 seat Multi-Use Arena – known as the Handball Arena during Games-time – will be a centre for community sport and will host a range of sporting, community, entertainment, cultural and business events. It is planned to reopen in 2014.
Peter Tudor, Director of Venues at the Olympic Park Legacy Company, said:
“We are delighted by the calibre of shortlisted candidates to operate two of London’s best sporting facilities. By appointing the operator before the Games, we can work together to develop a full programme of activities for when the venues reopen, focused on encouraging sports participation, community access and a range of cultural events.”
The Zaha Hadid designed Aquatics Centre will have two 50m pools and a diving pool. It is expected to reopen in 2014 and could attract up to 800,000 visits a year. The pools are fitted with moveable floors and booms so their size and depth can be altered.
The Multi-Use Arena will be the third largest arena in London complete with retractable seating to extend the field of play. It could attract up to 600,000 visits a year.
The operators will be appointed in time for the Games so they can work with the building’s Games-time operations and manage their post-Games fit out. It is anticipated that the contracts will run for ten years.
They will be expected to promote sports development with the National Governing Bodies of Sport, educational establishments and local boroughs; contribute to improving health, education and lifelong participation in sport; support the establishment of sports clubs and academies; and provide venues that are physically accessible for disabled people and cater for all ages and abilities.
Plans for the Aquatics Centre and the Multi-Use Arena form part of the Legacy Company’s ambition for the future Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to become a major destination – a new part of London which will include new housing, schools, health centres and offices, along with the running of venues such as the Olympic Stadium, the ArcelorMittal Orbit, Lee Valley VeloPark, Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, and the Press and Broadcast Centres.