NEXT GENERATION OF LOCAL ATHLETES TO MAKE THEIR MARK ON OLYMPIC VENUES

The Aquatics Centre and The Copper Box will play host to two community events this spring as a taste of things to come after the London 2012 Games.

More than 2,500 people from the Olympic Host Boroughs will attend the two events in March and April this year either as participants or spectators as the Olympic Park Legacy Company gives local people the opportunity to use the venues before the Olympians and Paralympians take centre stage.

The Six Host Borough Swimming Championships (18th March) and One Movement (21st April) are part of community-focused plans outlined by the Legacy Company at the Economic Culture and Sport Committee on Tuesday.

They included a commitment to making the venues both affordable and accessible after the Games with the price of swimming or hiring a court to be the same as the average price of local swimming pools or leisure centres.

Operator Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) will also create 78 full time jobs along with 360 apprenticeship places over 10 years when the two venues reopen after the Games, with 75% of jobs going to local people.

Peter Tudor, Director of Venues, said:

“These world-class venues will become fantastic facilities for local residents and athletes alike after Games.

“Legacy plans are further ahead than any previous host Olympic city and these events demonstrate how we will make sure local people benefit from the Games.”

Speaking about the upcoming Six Host Borough Swimming Championships, double Olympic gold medallist, Rebecca Adlington, said:

“The children from the London Host Boroughs competing at the Aquatics Centre in March have got a once in a lifetime opportunity to compete in an Olympic Pool so soon before an Olympic Games. It will be such an inspiration for them and I wish them all the best of luck.”

So far, six out of eight permanent Olympic venues have had their future secured before the Games have even started – the Aquatics Centre, Multi-use Arena (known as The Copper Box during the Games), the ArcelorMittal Orbit, the Velodrome, the Athletes Village and Eton Manor Sports Complex.

The Legacy Company is on track to secure the future of the remaining two venues – the Stadium and the Press and Broadcast Centres – by the summer.

The Stadium will remain in public ownership and is on track to reopen in 2014 after being reduced from 80,000 to 60,000 seats after the Games. The 2017 World Athletics Championships has already been secured in addition to the venue being the new national centre for athletics. In addition, 16 parties have registered an interest in bidding to use the Stadium after the Games with final bids to be made by 23rd March 2012.

The Legacy Company is currently in negotiations with three shortlisted bidders for the Press Centre and Broadcast Centre buildings, which in total offer around 1 million sq ft of commercial space.

UK Fashion Hub, Oxylane Group and iCITY all share the Legacy Company’s vision to create a thriving commercial district on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park that will generate several thousand job and training opportunities in the process. Both buildings will be available for fit-out from spring 2013.