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Olympic legacy 'still unclear' says report

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The long-term use of the Olympic Stadium and other venues at London’s Olympic Park has raised concerns among officials

The London Assembly’s Economic Development, Culture, Sport and Tourism (EDCST) Committee said the exact purposes of the Olympic venues after the Games in 2012 was ‘still unclear’ and claimed there was ‘a real risk some could become white elephants’.

The committee also said it was concerned about the wider regeneration legacy, warning that wealthy outsiders could reap the benefits of hosting the Games in Stratford, east London, while the deprived local community does not see any benefit.

‘The media centre and the Olympic Stadium are potentially the most important venues in terms of attracting jobs and investment to the park, so it is crucial that sustainable uses are identified and delivered,’ said the report on the obstacles facing the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC), which takes charge of the venues after the Games and is led by the former deputy mayor of Philadelphia, Andrew Altman.

‘The continuing uncertainty about the future of the main stadium undermines the potential to plan for legacy ahead of the 2012 Games,’ the report, published by the EDCST, said. ‘For example, the arrival of a Premier League football team in the middle of the Olympic Park may affect the character of the park and its surroundings.’

However, Lord Coe, the chair of London 2012, has reiterated that track and field will remain the Olympic Stadium’s primary purpose after the Games.

Layered sections of Olympic stadium

Layering: The different sections of the Olympic stadium design

It will be reduced from an 80,000 capacity stadium during the Games to a 25,000-seater venue with an athletics track. Premiership clubs interested in the site have been put off by the prospect of having a running track around the pitch in the past.

Click here to read the full report.

Other key findings of the report included:

  • Ambitious targets should be set for employing local people on the park after 2012. Currently only 4 per cent of the construction workforce is made up of previously unemployed people from the local area.
  • Thousands of new homes will be built on the park – these must be suitable for, and available to, local people not just wealthy people moving onto the park
  • East London has lower levels of physical activity – the state-of-the-art sports facilities in the park must be made available for community use.

 

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