In an historic deal signed today the iconic Olympic Stadium will be the new home of grass roots athletics in the UK for the next 50 years and beyond.

Under the agreement between the E20 Stadium and UK Athletics, the Stadium will become the new national centre for athletics, hosting regional and national age group championships, as well as elite international events.

Seizing on the London 2012 motto “Inspire a Generation” the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will provide year-round training facilities for use by the local community, local athletes and sports clubs at an adjacent permanent community track delivering a lasting athletics legacy in east London.

UKA will have use of the Stadium from the last Friday in June to the end of July each year under a 50 year agreement, starting from 2016 when the stadium will be fully operational following its legacy transformation.

UKA will hold its annual London Diamond League meetings, alongside a whole spectrum of national level and age group championships, providing opportunities for the stars of the future to follow in the footsteps of London 2012 heroes like Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis-Hill, Greg Rutherford, Hannah Cockroft and Johnny Peacock.

In 2017 the stadium will host the IAAF World Athletics Championships and IPC Athletics World Championships – the first time these prestigious global events have been staged in the same venue in the same year.

As part of its multi-use legacy the Stadium will also host five matches during the 2015 Rugby World Cup and will be the permanent home of West Ham United Football Club from 2016. West Ham will take up residency as the Stadium’s long term anchor tenant with UKA. The Stadium will also be used for other sporting, cultural and community events.

Speaking ahead of this weekend’s sell-out Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games, the first event in the stadium since the Paralympic closing ceremony, the Mayor of London Boris Johnson said:

“Twelve months on from the glittering opening ceremony of the London Olympics, work to deliver a golden sporting legacy is firmly on track. It has always been a key aim to ensure the world class athletics facilities in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park nurture our next generation of sporting heroes especially among our talented local youngsters from east London. Today’s deal guarantees just that for 50 years – it is historic and hugely significant. And with 180,000 spectators watching world class athletics in the stadium this weekend the park is now a premier sporting destination for competitors and watchers alike.

London Legacy Development Corporation Chief Executive Dennis Hone said:

“Today’s deal is great news for athletics fans and great news for the David Weirs, Jessica Ennis-Hills and Perri Shakes-Draytons of tomorrow. Tens of thousands will enjoy watching top class athletics each year here in east London. But crucially the deal means that the stars of tomorrow can train and compete in this iconic Stadium and help inspire the youngsters of the East End of London to reach their full potential.”

UK Athletics Chief Executive Niels de Vos said:

“Today’s agreement is a great result for athletics. We’ve seen how there is a huge public appetite for seeing athletics on the biggest stage with the tickets for this weekend’s Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games selling out in just over an hour.

“We look forward to staging great events here in the years up to and beyond 2017, and we aim to celebrate the anniversary of the Games at this venue in many more years to come providing a centrepiece occasion that really befits the legacy of an Olympic stadium.”

Mayor of Newham Sir Robin Wales said:

“The Road to Rio starts right here in Stratford and I am delighted that the next generation of Team GB’s gold medallists will be able to use the stadium. Among the 2012 medallists were members of our community athletics club, Newham & Essex Beagles.  Today’s announcement, along with our investment in the stadium, means local people will be able to see and be inspired by world-class athletes like Usain Bolt. We made a commitment to inspire a generation and today’s announcement means everyone in Newham – whatever their ability or goals – will be able to use the Olympic facilities. That’s a real, lasting legacy and I am proud so say we have delivered on our promise.”