On Monday 22nd October the London 2012 Organising Committee and the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) marked the start of the handover of the Olympic Park, the centrepiece of the Games.
The programme of work to transform the Olympic Park site after the Games is well underway with LOCOG removing the temporary facilities that were necessary to make the Games happen. In just six weeks since the Paralympic Games Closing Ceremony a significant proportion of the temporary overlay has already been removed from the Olympic Park.
The start of handover means that the LLDC have taken operational control of the Olympic Park (perimeter security, access control and logistics operations) and associated areas. The Legacy Corporation will then begin works to transform the Park into a new part of London, to be known as Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, through a £292m construction project.
LOCOG has phased handover dates for specific venues and spaces to the LLDC. The Aquatics Centre, the Velodrome and the Basketball Arena have now been handed over to LLDC, the Copper Box will be handed over in November and the Olympic Stadium and Press and Broadcast Centres will be handed over in December.
Meanwhile, LOCOG is also preparing to hand over the Olympic Village to the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) so that a large-scale retrofitting programme can begin, transforming the 2,818 apartments and houses into East Village – a new community for London from 2013 onwards.
Seb Coe, LOCOG Chair, said: “The UK hosted a spectacular Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer. We have now begun the first chapter of the lasting legacy we promised when we bid for the Games. We began our work straight after the Games to transform the venues, parklands and facilities in the Olympic Park to ensure generations to come will benefit from a golden summer. I congratulate my team for taking out all the temporary structures so quickly so that the job of transformation continues quickly.”
Dennis Hone, Chief Executive of ODA and interim Chief Executive of LLDC, said: “The work has already begun on preparing the Olympic Park and Olympic Village for legacy. Once the overlay and Games-time elements are removed, we will start to deconstruct the temporary venues, adapt permanent venues for future use, reshape the landscape and retrofit the Village into a new community for London. This will take some time, but the wait will be worth it. Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will be a fantastic new place to live, work and visit and enjoy. This really is an opportunity to create a legacy of the type we have never seen before.”
The Legacy Corporation’s huge construction programme is called ‘Clear, Connect, Complete’. It will clear Games-time overlay including temporary venues, walkways and stands, connect the Park to the surrounding area with new roads and pathways and complete the Park’s venues to their legacy designs.
To help people to get onto the Park as quickly as possible, the Legacy Corporation has planned its works to enable the Park to begin to re-open in phases, from 27th July, 2013, as each piece of work reaches completion. The whole Park will be open by spring 2014.
The timeline of works to take place on the Olympic Park and Olympic Village in the coming months is as follows:
September and up to 22 October 2012:
LOCOG and its contractors have completed a programme of utilities disconnection and removal of temporary power cables, generators, telecoms and equipment from venues. The wider overlay deconstruction programme has also been completed which included the removal of the BMX stands, Olympic Stadium wrap and cable trusses, way-finding and signage; temporary media desks in seating stands; fencing; temporary toilets and concessions; Games-time workforce areas; information and medical tents.
The temporary structures (excluding venues) used by LOCOG are equivalent to the last three Summer Games combined. All will be removed including: 250,000 modular/temporary seats; 165,000m2 squared of tents; 140km of fencing; 240km of crowd barriers; and 100,000m2 of temporary sports surfaces
The temporary structures will be removed by contractors to be reused at other events and venues around the UK. Signage and wayfinding will mainly be recycled.
An estimated workforce of 5,000 contractors has been on the Park to carry out the works – removing the majority of LOCOG’s overlay structures by the end of November.
The vast majority of LOCOG’s temporary venues across London (not in the Olympic Park) have been reinstated and handed back to venue owners – work included the removal of 15,000 temporary seats and 4,000 tonnes of sand at Horse Guards Parade, the removal of the pontoon on the Serpentine at Hyde Park, removal of stables and the temporary arena at Greenwich Park and 40,000 seats, 300 cabin units, lighting, back of house facilities, training and warm up courts all removed in just eight days at ExCeL.
From late October 2012:
- The ODA resumes control of the Olympic Village (now East Village in legacy) in two stages in late October and in December in order to start a retrofitting programme that will continue into 2014. This will include the installation of kitchens across all the 2,818 homes in addition to the removal of temporary Games-time flooring and partitions that had formed athletes’ accommodation, as well as other facilities for National Olympic Committees. This will ensure the homes are made ready for families to move in from 2013 onwards (see breakdown of Village timeline below).
The Village, which lies adjacent to the Olympic Park, will create:
A complete neighbourhood of 2,818 homes including 1,379 affordable homes
Family housing with nearly 1,000 three and four bed homes
New homes across 11 plots in one of the best connected parts of the capital
A new neighbourhood that spans over 27 hectares of land, equivalent to St James Park in central London, with wide tree lined streets and open public spaces
The LLDC takes operational control of the Olympic Park (perimeter security, access control and logistics operations) and begins to remove temporary seats from the Aquatics Centre.
By the end of November, LOCOG will have handed over virtually all of the Olympic Park to LLDC apart from the Press and Broadcast Centres and the Stadium. The Riverbank Arena and the Olympic Hospitality Centre will be completely dismantled.
The LLDC begins removing the seating bowl in the Basketball Arena.
All competition venues in the Park will have been handed to the LLDC by the end of the year for transformation work to start.
All of LOCOG’s temporary venues outside the Olympic Park will have been demounted, with the land reinstated and returned back to owners. This includes Eton Dorney, ExCeL, Greenwich Park, Hadleigh Farm, Horse Guards Parade, Hyde Park, Lord’s.
The Olympic Stadium is handed over by LOCOG to the LLDC.
The Greenway and The View Tube outside the perimeter of the Olympic Park will re-open to the public.
The LLDC begins to remove the east and west seating wings of the Aquatics Centre.
The LLDC commences construction of the Lee Valley VeloPark.
- The LLDC commences construction of Lee Valley Tennis and Hockey Centre.
- ODA will have demounted the Shooting Venue at Royal Artillery Barracks and handed the land back fully reinstated to The Ministry of Defence.
- The LLDC begins to remove the Basketball Arena frame
- The LLDC begins the phased opening of the North of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, including re-opening the Copper Box and surrounding area to become London’s third largest arena.
Chobham Academy and Sir Ludwig Guttmann Health Centre (formerly the Polyclinic during the Olympic and Paralympic Games) will open in East Village.
Following the removal of the Basketball Arena’s foundations, the LLDC hands the site to Taylor Wimpey and London and Quadrant who will build Chobham Manor – the first new neighbourhood 800 homes.
- Water Polo Arena fully removed by LLDC.
LLDC re-opens more of the North Park and completes the construction of the Lee Valley VeloPark.
The building of the Chobham Manor commences with homes ready for people to move in to from the end of 2014.
- Lee Valley Regional Park Authority opens Lee Valley VeloPark, the UK’s largest multi-discipline cycling hub (Velodrome, BMX track, one mile road circuit and 7km of mountain bike trails).
- East Village works completed by the ODA.
The South Plaza will open in spring 2014 comprising of a new 28 acre urban park as well as the Aquatics Centre and ArcelorMittal Orbit.
Lee Valley Tennis Centre and Lee Valley Hockey Centre will be open on the former Eton Manor site. The centres will have indoor and outdoor tennis courts, hockey pitches and the potential for five-a-side football pitches. They will be owned and run by Lee Valley Regional Park Authority.
- Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will be fully open, hosting a rolling programme of events and attractions in the sporting venues and parklands. Around 8,000 permanent jobs will be created on the Park, as well as 8,000 new homes in five new neighbourhoods, supported by three new schools, nine new nurseries, three new health centres and a new library.