Opinion: Great five years - but still more to come
PUBLISHED: 16:24 14 May 2019
Last month we marked the fifth anniversary of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park’s opening.
It was a great opportunity to reflect on all that has changed, and all that is still to come. Our aim has always been to make sure that local people can take advantage of opportunities being created, and that will remain our focus in the years ahead.
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After the Paralympic Games closing ceremony in 2012 a huge operation swung into action to remove all the temporary Olympic structures, transform the permanent venues for their long-term use, remove thousands of tons of concrete and tarmac and create new parkland. Sixty apprentices - the highest on a single site in London - helped with the construction work. Since re-opening in 2014, more than 27 million people have visited the world-class venues, events and spectacular attractions. The park is now home to six former Olympic and Paralympic venues, the Copper Box Arena, Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, Lee Valley VeloPark, London Aquatics Centre and London Stadium. Visitors can also enjoy a birds-eye view of the Park from the two viewing platforms of the ArcelorMittal Orbit, the UK's tallest sculpture, before experiencing an exhilarating ride on The Slide, the world's tallest and longest tunnel slide. We are proud that 67 per cent of the park venue workforce are from the local boroughs.
There is still so much more to come: 33,000 homes on and around the park by 2036; 40,000 jobs on and around the park by 2025 and 270 apprenticeships. East Bank will see new buildings for Sadler's Wells, BBC, V&A East, UAL's London College of Fashion and UCL East, and will complement the existing arts and culture organisations. Our partners are working on projects of real benefit to London's creative economy and local communities: keep an eye out for our free East Summer School 2019 at the end of July.
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