MP for East Ham Stephen Timms on how the Games’ Legacy is being realised


- Credit: Archant

Last year’s Olympics saw massive investment in the regeneration of our area. The Games are over, but the benefits of the investment are still with us. And they will be for a long time to come.

A couple of weeks ago I visited an impressive example – the new BT Sports Centre. BT has launched four TV sports channels. They are free to people who use its superfast broadband service. The centre is in the former Broadcasting Centre on the edge of the Olympic Park. It has sophisticated studios which can support three simultaneous television broadcasts, a state-of-the art control centre, 20 edit suites and audience space. And there is a unique high tech pitch where TV pundits can re-enact key game moments in almost any sport.

It’s part of a new digital quarter, iCITY, which aims to fulfil the economic and social legacy of 2012. Thanks to the world-class communications provided for the world’s media in the summer of 2012, it will bring jobs and renewed investment.

Others are following BT’s lead. Loughborough University is opening a campus next door. iCITY expects over £1 billion in investment, and 4,500 jobs on-site. BT alone has created 400 jobs there, and will create more. Other media firms have come too, some sharing space with BT. A huge web of media enterprises has grown around the Sky studios in west London. Now BT could spark something similar in East London.

BT is committed to strong links with the local community, working with young people through school visits and collaborations. The executives showing me around enthused about the wealth of local talent. It’s one of the reasons for them to locate here.

The economic legacy of the Olympic Games is being realised. East London youngsters can reap the benefits.