February update from Lyn Garner, CEO
At this time of year, we would normally be preparing for the usual influx of events and visitors that the advance of Spring brings to the Park. Of course, this year is very different.
Amongst all of the uncertainty, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park has remained open and accessible, providing a safe haven for local people to exercise and get some fresh air. And while things are different, the London Legacy Development Corporation remains busy delivering on our Olympic and Paralympic legacy promises.
Construction continues on our residential development sites and at East Bank, where the health and safety of our contractors is paramount and work continues in a socially distanced way. Our venues remain closed to the public, but luckily, some of the action has been able to continue behind closed doors.
At 3 Mills, filming and rehearsals for some of the top television and film productions continue, including filming for the second series of Hulu’s The Great. Over at London Stadium, the team continues to ensure top-flight football can safely continue behind closed doors, with a packed schedule of Premier League home games for West Ham United.
The Vitality Netball Superleague 2021 season kicked off on 12 February, with Copper Box Arena being one of two venues hosting the matches. Over at the London Aquatics Centre, a Super League Triathlon (SLT) Arena Games event – a mixture of swimming and virtual treadmill racing - will be held behind closed doors on 27 March. While it’s unfortunate that spectators cannot attend these events in person, we’re delighted that our world-class sporting venues can continue hosting these events, supporting our events industry during these challenging times.
Our young people have also been hit hard by the pandemic, and LLDC’s Regeneration team have been supporting schools, teachers, parents and pupils to educate and inspire in a way that is both stimulating and accessible for local students.
Following the success of last year’s East Summer School and the autumn pilot held in November, our East Education programme has collaborated with 10 of our Park partners to deliver our very first East Careers Week. Coinciding with National Careers Week on 1-5 March, the programme consists of 21 different workshops and webinars for Year 10-13 students, covering careers and sectors as diverse as broadcasting, to fashion and construction.
Devised in close partnership with local and East Bank partners, we’ve also consulted with teachers working in east London schools to ensure we are delivering a strong online programme that best supports them, and with our youth steering group to ensure it meets the needs of local young people.
Above all, we want to inspire young people and empower teachers to embed a high-quality careers programme into their schools. Working with UCL (Engineering, Culture, Special Collections, Institute of Making), the BBC, V&A, London College of Fashion, Sadler’s Wells, Here East, Staffordshire University, Liverpool Media Academy, Mace, and Art Clubbers, we hope to achieve just that.
It is through initiatives like East Careers Week which enable the Legacy Corporation to deliver on our legacy commitments, ensuring that local people benefit from the physical regeneration of the Park.
That is why we’re investing £2 million into a Good Growth Hub – a physical space and focal point for our future socio-economic activity. Last week we were delighted to announce A New Direction (AND) as the operator of this hub. Having previously supported the delivery of our Shared Training and Employment Programme, we have no doubt that AND will do a fantastic job of linking east Londoners to the businesses, jobs and opportunities available in this fast-growing innovation and business district.
While things remain uncertain, we look with hope to the future, and remain confident in the opportunities Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park can continue to bring to local communities and London more widely.