As the London 2012 body closes, it charts the story of the work to build the Olympic venues, and create new homes for London.
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The Olympic Delivery Authority, which came into existence after the International Olympic Committee’s vote to award the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games to London, has set out its record in a statement to mark the organisation’s dissolution on 2 December 2014.
The ODA has tracked its achievements in twelve key areas, from clearing the Olympic Park site and tackling pollution, to securing a legacy for future generations from sports and leisure facilities, new infrastructure, transport improvements and almost 3,000 new homes.
Since the official start of its work on 1 April 2006, the ODA has been responsible for the construction of the venues and facilities for London 2012, including the Olympic Park and infrastructure like bridges and roads. The ODA had to devise a transport plan to get spectators to events and was charged with enforcing legislation about advertising and trading during the Games.
The ODA’s construction activity was accomplished on schedule and well within the original budget given to the organisation, with £1.2 billion of savings and a commitment to achieving value for money and a lasting legacy. The ODA also took on more work than first anticipated, because of the decision to publicly fund the Olympic Village after the economic crisis in 2007-08, as well as responsibility for some Games-time operations on the Olympic Park.
After 2012, its focus switched to the transformation of the former Olympic and Paralympic Village into new housing for London. Final tasks included closing out the last of more than 2,500 commercial contracts with a combined value in excess of £6 billion, and preparing for an ordered closure of the organisation.
Sir John Armitt, Chairman of the ODA, said:
“Our work is done and our last few remaining staff have left for new challenges, but I know the legacy of what we did will be there to enjoy for generations to come. London has a new and thriving Olympic Park to add to its attractions and sports facilities; a neglected corner of our capital has been transformed and is benefitting from high-quality infrastructure; and East Village is complete and providing homes where the athletes stayed in 2012.
“I am so proud of what the ODA has achieved, of its staff, of the tens of thousands of people who worked with us, in the private and public sectors, to create the stage for London 2012. Above all, I am grateful for the support and funding from the British people that made everything possible. They, rightly, will enjoy using the venues and facilities we built, long after the end of the Olympic Delivery Authority.”
The ODA statement sets out the body’s key priorities, including health and safety in which its record has attracted global praise, with no work-related fatalities during the entire construction programme. To mark this accomplishment, the ODA was awarded a ‘Sword of Honour’ in 2010 by the British Safety Council. This has now been returned to the Council in recognition of the support it gave to the ODA in driving up safety standards, in partnership with the TUC, the London 2012 workforce, and employers.
The ODA has been committed from the outset to preserving and passing on the lessons it learned, through its Learning Legacy initiative. The Learning Legacy website contains hundreds of reports, case studies, research summaries and videos highlighting what has been achieved in areas including design and engineering innovation, health and safety, planning and project management, and sustainability.