The legacy of London 2012 has come to life at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Six years on a lot has changed and there’s a lot still to come

• The Park is being transformed into a great place to live, work and visit
• More than 23million people have visited since the Games
• 40,000 jobs by 2025 and 24,000 new homes on and around the Park by 2031
• Development continues with East Bank, the new cultural and education district, bringing world-class institutions to east London
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Six years on from hosting the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is welcoming back world-class athletes and spectators to be a part of the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup. Since the Games, LLDC has made great headway in delivering a lasting legacy- and there’s much more to come.

Lyn Garner, Chief Executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation, said: “So much has changed at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in the last six years. Since London 2012, homes have been built, thousands of jobs have been created and millions of people have visited the venues and events at the Park. And there's even more to come; from world class universities and museums to new schools and businesses."

London 2012
Following London’s successful bid to host the Games in 2005 a huge programme of clearing and cleaning took place in Stratford; 200 buildings were removed, 52 electricity pylons were taken away and 200 hectares of brownfield land, waterways, and rail lines were transformed. Wasteland made way for world class sports venues, and 17,000 athletes and officials from 204 nations were housed on the former home of Europe’s largest fridge mountain. In total, 14 temporary and permanent venues were built, 20km of new roads were added, 13km of new tunnels were created, 26 bridges were developed and 80 hectares of parkland was added to the site. At the heart of everything that was done was the legacy; in fact, 75p in every £1 that was spent for the Games, had legacy benefits, and the impact of this can be seen on the Park today. 

Post-Games Transformation
For London, the Games were just the beginning. The closing ceremony of the Paralympic Games marked the start of a brand new chapter for the Park. An ambitious 18 month programme, costing £286million, was undertaken by the London Legacy Development Corporation to transform the 560 acre site designed specifically to host four weeks of sport, into Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park – a new heart for east London and a destination for millions to live, work and visit.

All five permanent sports venues underwent their own transformations to ensure they were suitable for both the local community and world class athletes. The temporary seating wings at the London Aquatics Centre were removed, brand new BMX, road and mountain bike tracks were built at Lee Valley VeloPark, and a comprehensive programme at the London Stadium saw the installation of new lights, seating, and the world’s largest single cantilevered roof.

In July 2013, just one year after the Games, the north of the Park reopened with new playgrounds and cafes as well as beautiful parklands to explore. Just nine months later in April 2014, the south of the Park reopened, and where once paved pathways dominated, there are now landscaped gardens and adventure playgrounds for people to enjoy. 

Today the Park is open 24 hours, entry is free and more than 23million people have already enjoyed the parklands, venues and events. Millions of people have enjoyed large scale concerts and sporting events in the venues as well as community focussed local events. 

With membership prices the same as those at other leisure centres across east London, the venues are accessible to the whole community and well used by local people. Over 4million people have made a splash at the London Aquatics Centre (LAC), which also teaches 1,400 school children a week to swim, 3.4million have enjoyed the Lee Valley VeloPark, and 2million people have visited the Copper Box Arena (CBA). The Slide at the ArcelorMittal Orbit regularly sells out during school holidays and has received rave reviews as one of the best activities in London despite only just celebrating its second birthday.

The Stadium was the last venue to reopen. Even before transformation had been completed, the venue hosted events including the 2015 Rugby World Cup, international Rugby League, motorsport, the Anniversary Games and World Athletics Championships. It is now the national competition centre for UK Athletics and a new home for West Ham United Football Club, and has already hosted four hugely successful events this summer- the Rolling Stones, Foo Fighters, Jay Z and Beyoncé, Saracens v Harlequins, the inaugural Athletics World Cup and the Müller Anniversary Games.

And the Park is not just a place to visit, many people are now choosing to live and work here. East Village, the former Athletes’ Village, is fully occupied and residents have already moved into the Park’s first new neighbourhood, Chobham Manor, one of five to be built over the next decade. Work is also already underway on East Wick and Sweetwater, the next two neighbourhoods to be built and, in September 2016, Mossbourne Riverside Academy opened as the first new school at the Park. 

Following on from the Games, the Park also continues to ‘inspire a generation’, not just through the amazing venues and sports on offer but through its high accessibility and sustainability standards. Through these plans, the Park has already delivered innovations such as the multi-generational home, the largest free-to-access wifi network in an urban parkland, and recognition of the Park as a European Smart, Sustainable District. 

The Future
And we’re not done yet! There will be 40,000 jobs on the Park by 2025 and 24,000 homes will be built on and around the Park by 2031. Over the coming years, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will welcome new sites for Sadler’s Wells, BBC Music and the V&A (in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution), as well as University College London and University of the Arts London's London College of Fashion. The project will be known as East Bank, a new powerhouse of culture, education, innovation and growth.

Both Transport for London and the Financial Conduct Authority have moved into the International Quarter London (IQL), adding to the growing reputation of Stratford as a business district. UNICEF will also follow this year, with Cancer Research and British Council moving into IQL by spring 2019. Once complete, IQL will be home to 25,000 jobs. And of course, Westfield Stratford City continues its success with almost 50million people passing through its doors every year.

Here East, the former Press and Broadcast Centre, is fast becoming a space for innovation, education and enterprise and is home to a fantastic mix of tech, education and culture, with tenants such as BT Sport, Loughborough University London, Plexal, UCL robotics and Studio Wayne McGregor. Thousands of new jobs have been created at Here East as well as across the Park venues and through the construction work that has taken place, many of which have been filled by local people. 

For more information contact the Press Office at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on +44 (0) 20 3734 9010 or email [email protected]