London Olympic Park gets $468m makeover

KEITH WEIR
Last updated 09:40 28/11/2012
Olympic Park
Getty Images
RENOVATIONS: The Olympic Park needs a complete makeover before it is suitable to host other events and for public use.

Relevant offers

Other Sports

No chance of reconciliation between Team NZ boss Grant Dalton and Dean Barker Dean Barker not ready to give up sailing but admits he and Team New Zealand boss Grant Dalton aren't 'mates' 'Concrete pills' get Jake Robertson through race with broken wrist Johnstone: Where to now for Dean Barker, Team New Zealand? IOC relaxes rule on Olympic athlete sponsors Nick Willis wins feature 5000m race at Auckland Track Challenge Black Sox pitchers Nik Hayes and Heinie Shannon withdraw from trial in Hamilton American-based pitcher with Kiwi heritage Kim-An Quinn has been named in the New Zealand Junior White Sox squad World champ jets in for west coast surf event Dean Barker not ready to give up sailing but admits he and Team New Zealand boss Grant Dalton aren't 'mates'

London's Olympic Park has taken on the air of a construction site again, with work under way on a 292 million pound transformation before Britons can use facilities like the swimming pool and cycle trails.

Builders in hard hats were today dismantling temporary seats towering above the pool where American Michael Phelps won a record 18th Olympic gold in August.

However, the failure to settle on a tenant for the centrepiece Olympic Stadium, built at a cost of some 430 million pounds, has taken some of the gloss off a successful Games that silenced the sceptics.

Premier League club West Ham United remain the most likely tenant but wrangling over the division of the costs of turning the stadium into one also suited for top-flight soccer has slowed the process.

The London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), the public body responsible for the site, is scheduled to discuss the stadium issue again next week and there are hopes that a decision will be announced before the end of the year.

However, the LLDC has warned the stadium will not open before 2015, prompting a frustrated UK Athletics Chairman Ed Warner to denounce the delay as a farce.

The Olympic Stadium will hold the 2017 World Athletics Championships and is on the list of potential venues to host matches during the 2015 rugby World Cup but that deadline is beginning to look tight.

MAJOR EVENTS TARGETED

The Games cost the British public around 9 billion pounds and spending during the Olympics helped to give a one-off boost to Britain's struggling economy.

London has restarted free bus tours around the Olympic Park, keen to maintain the goodwill generated by the Games and show that it will have a viable future as part of plans to regenerate what was long a rundown part of east London.

Workers on the site on a bleak November day were focused on getting it ready to reopen to the public next July - a year on from the Games - with a new name of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

"We want the park to open as quickly and as safely as possible," Colin Naish, director of infrastructure at the LLDC told reporters, adding the target was for a phased reopening to be completed by the middle of 2014.

Contractors Balfour Beatty and BAM Nuttall are expected to employ up 1000 workers on the conversion.

The swimming pool is scheduled to be used as a public leisure centre from 2014, although London has also bid to stage the European swimming championships at the venue in 2016.

Ad Feedback

Britain is seeking to build on the good publicity generated by the Olympics to attract lucrative international events.

It has also applied to stage the 2016 world track cycling championships on the London site.

- Reuters

Special offers
Opinion poll

Will Shane Cameron beat Kali Meehan on Saturday?

For sure. Cameron will knock him out.

It will be close but I think Cameron on points.

Meehan will knock him out. This is his last fight.

I'm tipping Meehan to win on points.

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content