Delivering a Sporting Legacy from the London 2012 Games
500 events per year
With London 2012 just around the corner, the big question being asked now is what legacy the Games will leave once they are over. For Lee Valley Regional Park Authority the success of London 2012 will not only be measured by how many medals Team GB secures, but by ensuring that the Games bring sustainable, enduring benefits to all of London and further afield once the “greatest show on Earth” is over.
Who we are Lee Valley Regional Park was established by an Act of Parliament in 1966. It is 26 miles long and is spread over 10,000 acres stretching from the Thames, through the Olympic Park, North and East London and into Essex and Hertfordshire. We were set up specifically to create leisure opportunities in the Lee Valley. We are the only statutory organisation of this type in the UK, with our remit covering sport, leisure, entertainment and nature conservation. The Valley is now a mosaic of award-winning open spaces, world class sports venues, heritage sites, country parks, places to stay, marinas and angling and boating locations attracting 4.5 million visitors per year. It is of huge environmental and ecological importance and is often referred to as “London’s green lung.” We host around 500 events per year, attracting people from all 33 London boroughs, Essex and Hertfordshire as well as other parts of the country. Our existing sports venues also attract a unique and diverse level of athletes from all parts of the capital. 2
We want to establish the Lee Valley as a world class visitor destination for sport, leisure and nature. In the same way that the Lake District or the Peak District are home to varied activities, but primarily known as national parks, Lee Valley will come to be identified as a premier location offering uniquely varied sports and leisure activities. At the same time we will continue to manage and develop the Park to ensure that it remains a thriving environment for wildlife and nature. The Park Authority’s role and mission is now to lead the delivery of this vision through a range of private and public sector partnerships whilst maximising value for money for the taxpayers of London, Essex and Hertfordshire.
4.5 MILLION visitors per year 3
Olympic Park Legacy Company
After the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games we will own and run four venues – Lee Valley White Water Centre, Lee Valley VeloPark, Lee Valley Tennis Centre and Lee Valley Hockey Centre.
As the owner of Lee Valley VeloPark, Lee Valley Tennis Centre and Lee Valley Hockey Centres, as well as a third of the parklands in the Olympic Park, we have been working closely with the Olympic Park Legacy Company to help create a Park that is vibrant, popular and sustainable and ensure effective use of public resources.
Plans for a white water attraction and a Velodrome in the Lee Valley are part of our long term strategy to create a zone of sporting excellence along the 26 mile park. We began working on what was to become Lee Valley White Water Centre in 1999 – long before the London Games bid had been conceived – in partnership with the National Governing Body, the British Canoe Union, as we both shared an ambition to bring a white water canoe slalom centre to this part of the UK.
The four Lee Valley London 2012 Olympic venues will attract at least
new visits per year
Similarly, the Authority has a long standing commitment to cycling. Before the London 2012 bid, plans were already conceived for a significant redevelopment of the existing Eastway Cycle Circuit and as part of the bid process negotiation a Velodrome would have been built even if London had not won the Games. With London winning the Games, vision met opportunity and the venues have been delivered bigger, better and faster. The London 2012 venues we will run in legacy like all of our existing national and regional sport venues, will blend community and elite use, and have grassroots sports participation at their heart. We are working closely with all the relevant National Governing Bodies (NGBs) to put in place sports development plans that will increase the numbers of people taking part in physical activity, provide the facilities to bring on the next generation of champions and create a lasting legacy for local communities, the capital, the region and the nation. At the same time as our London 2012 legacy venues being community centred, they will also have a strong commercial focus. While some will require a level of subsidy, we will keep this to the minimum through cost effective management and maximising income generation. We have already budgeted and planned for these venues, they will not result in the taxpayers of London having to pay more. Reducing the cost to the taxpayer is a core part of our wider business strategy and we are already in discussions about
sponsorship, naming rights, and other commercial opportunities. We plan that, by 2014, Lee Valley White Water Centre will break even. This emphasis on viability is carefully balanced by our inclusive pricing policies. Our pricing is tiered to encourage access by schools, youth groups and community groups and we will use income from more commercial activities – such as rafting or corporate events at Lee Valley White Water Centre – to subsidise sports development, outreach and access from more deprived parts of the region. The funds we will generate from sponsorship and naming rights for our London 2012 legacy venues will be used to cross-subsidise development programmes and other activities to ensure that we can deliver sport to a wide cross section of London’s communities. We will establish the four London 2012 venues we will run after the Games as regional and national hubs of sport that will reach out to all sections of the community. These venues will attract at least 450,000 new visits per year.
1 Lee Valley White Water Centre Just north of the M25 near Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire, Lee Valley White Water Centre opened in April 2011, the only brand new London 2012 venue people can use and enjoy ahead of the Games. It has been a huge success, attracting more than 130,000 visitors, 30,000 of whom took to the water from all corners of London and across the country, as well as top level international canoeists from all over the world. During the Games it will stage the Olympic Canoe Slalom competition and is already the new home of the GB Canoe Slalom team, who train there every day. Lee Valley White Water Centre became the first London 2012 venue to secure a major international event for after the Games when it won the right to stage the 2015 World Canoe Slalom Championships. It is already a commercial success, meeting its revenue targets two clear months before the end of the season in WARE October, and has had a hugely positive impact on the surrounding economy, attracting visitors to the area while generating extra revenue for local businesses. It has become a popular social venue for the community with its café and meeting spaces and highlights our ability to deliver sports venues that are inclusive and accessible.
Lee Valley White Water Centre’s first season is legacy in action. We’ve successfully blended community and elite use with widespread sports participation – thousands of people enjoying fun days out, blue chip corporates on team bonding exercises, children trying white water sports for the first time and the world’s best canoeists training for the Games. We are also providing an enduring legacy for long after the London 2012 Games. Grassroots participation will take off even more from 2013 with the establishment of clubs, schools programmes and a variety of initiatives which will attract the widest possible groups of people to paddle sports. Lee Valley White Water Centre staged its first Schools Festival in June and July attracting 1500 school children from every single London borough and from across Essex and Hertfordshire. It was an outstanding six day event with a host of outdoor activities and white water rafting – all provided for free, giving children their first taste of white water. Our business strategy is to be commercially driven and community focused. By 2014 the Centre will break even. The success of the Centre even before the Games have started demonstrates our ability to deliver sports venues and programmes that have legacy at their heart.
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Jeremy Hunt after rafting atBROXBOURNE Lee Valley White Water Centre
2 Lee Valley VeloPark The Olympic Velodrome was a finalist in the 2011 Stirling Prize, the highest accolade in British architecture and winner of the Prime Minister’s Better Public Building Award. It has already become an iconic symbol of the London 2012 Games. After the Games, the Velodrome will form the heart of Lee Valley VeloPark which will be made up of the Olympic BMX Track and a one mile road circuit and mountain bike trails which will be constructed post Games. Café, bike hire and cycle workshop facilities will also be added to create the finest centre for cycling in the world. It will be an inspiring, valuable asset for cyclists of all levels – from weekend peddlers to those competing at the very top of the sport. Working closely with the National
In 2015 the World Canoe Slalom Championships will be held at the Lee Valley White Water Centre demonstrating its commercial and sporting potential. The event is expected to attract thousands of visitors and generate extra benefits for the local economy. Lee Valley White Water Centre is the first London 2012 venue to secure a major event for after the Games earning widespread praise from government and sports officials for its legacy use.
Governing Body – British Cycling, we have developed a five year legacy sports plan for Lee Valley VeloPark to increase participation in cycling among schools and diverse community groups bringing wider benefits of the sport in terms of health, social cohesion and general leisure. Our goal is also to identify and develop emerging cyclists to help find the stars of tomorrow. Again in partnership with British Cycling and other organisations we are working with the six Host Boroughs to create BMX tracks in each one and further establish cycling provision. Naming rights discussions are already well advanced and a range of commercial activities at Lee Valley VeloPark are also being planned including the hosting of major, international events.
Seb Coe, Chair of the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG)
This is a stunning venue built for champions, and designed for legacy. The British cycling teams provided many of the team GB superstars in recent Games and I am proud to see them on this track.
visitors April 2011 to November 2011
Being able to experience first-hand the thrills of an Olympic course in advance of the Games, as well as hear such positive feedback about the planning for 2012 and the real benefits the venue is already generating for the local community, was extremely rewarding.
4 Lee Valley Tennis Centre
Based at Eton Manor in the north of Olympic Park, this will comprise two world class pitches and a stadium with 3,000 permanent seats and a capacity to go up temporarily to 15,000. The creation of a permanent hockey legacy venue was a specific pledge in the Olympic bid.
Also located at Eton Manor, it will share a clubhouse with the Hockey Centre and will have four indoor and six outdoor acrylic tennis courts.
Several hockey clubs from across London have already expressed an interest in having the site as their permanent home ground, ensuring vibrant and competitive sport each weekend during the hockey season. We anticipate at least 500 people playing there each weekend and training sessions throughout the week. We are also in advanced discussions with England Hockey, the National Governing Body, who will use the venue for a variety of events including cup finals, Premiership playoffs, county finals and international events. A number of hockey development programmes are also being put in place to encourage youngsters to take up the sport and cultivate new talent. The venue is close to a large Asian community, where hockey remains a hugely popular sport and we are confident that the surrounding communities will benefit from having this world class venue on their doorstep.
3k 15k permanent seats
Temporary capacity of
limited access to tennis facilities. Taking our inspiration from the emergence of Venus and Serena Williams who learnt to play the game in one of Los Angeles’ toughest As with our other London 2012 neighbourhoods, we hope that venues, we have an effective working one day Britain too will be able relationship with the National to boast of talented inner-city tennis Governing Body and are exploring players that become world stars. with the Lawn Tennis Association All our venues will have programmes (LTA) how to establish the Centre as in place with the specific target of a strong London hub for community tennis. This involves devising a variety increasing sports participation by disabled people. In partnership with of development programmes, the LTA we are already devising an working with schools and young inclusive tennis programme for the people to increase participation disabled sport. Similar programmes in the sport and implement high quality coaching programmes. will be implemented for Lee Valley The centre will be a valuable asset VeloPark, Lee Valley Hockey Centre to a community that has had very and Lee Valley White Water Centre.
We’re very pleased that there’s this long term legacy that’s going to be developed at Eton Manor… this is a big opportunity for us.
4 6 INDOOR
Jonty Clarke, GB hockey team player
3 Lee Valley Hockey Centre
Acrylic tennis courts
Lee Valley: Already creating a lasting Legacy for London and the region Legacy is already underway at Lee Valley and the first phase of our legacy plan is complete with a stunning opening season at Lee Valley White Water Centre, from which we have drawn many valuable lessons. Much of the work we are doing already in several London boroughs will be expanded across other parts of the capital and Essex and Hertfordshire during 2012 and once the Olympic and Paralympic Games are over.
Hamlets, Greenwich and Barking & Dagenham. Other organisations include Access Sport, a national sports charity, Proactive East London, Sport England’s delivery arm and the University of East London.
The Cycling Group identified BMX cycling as a particular way to reach out to young people, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Working with Access Sport, the main delivery organisation for the venture and other Group members, four brand new Cycling community BMX tracks have been We are developing a number of created in Greenwich, Hackney, “learn to cycle” programmes aimed Newham and Waltham Forest while at Londoners where they will be able two more will be established in Tower to come to Lee Valley VeloPark and, Hamlets and Barking & Dagenham. under the guidance of expert coaches, These are a valuable way to address take part in the four different cycling issues such as social exclusion, disciplines available there: BMX, Track, youth crime and health which affect Road and Mountain Bike. London’s youngsters. The Authority chairs a six Host The BMX tracks and clubs are aimed Borough Cycling Group made up of at beginners and intermediary level the London Boroughs of Hackney, riders, helping to develop the sport. Newham, Waltham Forest, Tower 10
As they become more proficient, riders will be able to graduate to the more challenging track at Lee Valley VeloPark where they can acquire the skills to compete at the highest levels of BMX cycling. Inclusiveness remains a key priority for the Authority. Specially adapted bikes for people with disabilities will be made available in all our cycling programmes at Lee Valley VeloPark and other all ability cycling clubs we will establish around London. All sections of the community will benefit from our cycling legacy. Further afield, we are also linking up with Hadleigh Farm in Essex which is the Host Venue for the London 2012 Mountain Bike event.
Hockey In partnership with England Hockey, we are developing a programme known as Quick Sticks which is designed to increase participation in the sport in schools across London. A number of other initatives are also
being devised with England Hockey to increase the number of players and improve hockey facilities in the London boroughs of Newham, Tower Hamlets, Barking & Dagenham, Waltham Forest, Hackney and Greenwich. Similar programmes will be rolled out across other London boroughs. Lee Valley Hockey Centre will also be a venue for other England Hockey initiatives such as “Back to Hockey” and “Rush Hockey” designed to attract a new generation of players.
Tennis Programmes are being devised to make Lee Valley Tennis Centre a regional hub for disability tennis. The existing disability tennis competitions structure will be expanded at the Centre, providing additional disabled tennis opportunities for players across London. In partnership with the LTA we are formulating a talent identification programme to help uncover the tennis stars of tomorrow. A range of other
development programmes will also be implemented to maximise player potential and encourage hard to reach groups, such as girls aged 16 to 19 to participate in the sport. We plan to replicate the success of the schools festival at the Lee Valley White Water Centre by creating a schools engagement day which would allow children from across London to experience the excellent facilities available to them at our Olympic Park venues. We are confident that all the London 2012 venues we will run in legacy will be financially viable, community centred and commercially focused. We have the ability to deliver on this pledge because we already have decades of experience running high profile sports venues that take into account commercial imperatives but combine this with strong community and elite use. We are proud of our track record. 11
Lee Valley Ice Centre attracts more than 300,000 visitors per year and is open 19 hours a day seven days a week. It is a Regional Centre of Excellence for the South of England and its manager is president of the National Ice Skating Association, the sport’s governing body. Eleven ice hockey teams use the centre as their home ground and it also runs weekly disabled skating programmes for children and adults with disabilities. The centre is a valuable community asset and has worked in partnership with the London Borough of Hackney’s knife crime unit, running skating programmes aimed at vulnerable youngsters.
The hugely successful Lee Valley Athletics Centre in Edmonton, north London shows how we run sports venues that attract people from all over London, from elite athletes to grassroots enthusiasts. It is the training ground for half the GB Athletics team, including three Beijing Olympic medallists and is one of the two UK Athletics High Performance Centres for Excellence for able bodied and disabled athletes. These elite athletes are drawn from all four corners of London. Each year, the Centre hosts more than 75 school sports events, attracting children from every London borough. It also runs hugely popular school holiday athletics sessions, where children are trained by some of the best athletics coaches in the country and get to meet and talk to the elite athletes based at the centre.
programme for disabled athletes. Around 80 per cent of the Centre’s opening hours are dedicated to community activity with the remainder for elite athletes.
Since its opening in 2007, Lee Valley Athletics Centre has attracted 160,000 visitors a year from all over London, many of whom had never tried athletics before. The Centre has a thriving community sports coaching programme in place and a successful development
It has a price structure which means it is affordable and accessible to school groups – from as little as £45 per hour for up to 500 school children, which works out to just 9 pence per child. Tessa Jowell, Shadow Olympic Minister
Lee Valley Athletics Centre is a fantastic facility. This is a hub of training and support for those talented athletes aspiring for the podiums of 2012.
300k visitors per year
75+ school sports events hosted each year
160k visitors per year 12
Lee Valley Riding Centre specialises in catering for disabled riders, children and a diverse range of horse enthusiasts from London, Essex and Hertfordshire. It attracts almost 100,000 people per year and is regarded by the British Equestrian Federation as a benchmark facility that provides riding to a wide range of users who ordinarily would not have access to riding. The Centre works in partnership with the Riding for the Disabled Association, giving riding lessons for adults and children with disabilities. Both Lee Valley Ice Centre and Lee Valley Riding Centre, along with Lee Valley Athletics Centre are in the highly commended category of the QUEST accreditation, the UK quality mark for excellence in the sport and leisure sector which defines industry standards and good practice.
In Summary Once the London 2012 Games are over, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will be a major destination made up of a number of venues and attractions. As the owner and operator of Lee Valley VeloPark and Lee Valley Tennis and Hockey Centres, as well as owning a third of the parklands in Olympic Park, we will work closely with the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) in the activation process to ensure effective use of public resources. Our experience in running viable, community and commercially focused sports venues puts us in a strong position to support OPLC and play a crucial role in delivering a successful Olympic Park for the whole nation. We have a strong record of managing sports venues along sound commercial lines that are vibrant and inclusive places for all Londoners. In our work, we have brought large open spaces to life, engaged diverse communities through innovative programmes and brought genuine benefits to all the capitalâ€™s residents in terms of sport, leisure, nature and conservation.
100k visitors per year
Our work on delivering a sustainable and enduring Olympic legacy is already well underway with millions of people set to descend on London for the Games and world class sports venues already completed, it is imperative that the whole of London, the surrounding region and the rest of the nation benefits from this sporting extravaganza long after 2012. We can say with pride and confidence that we have the experience and pedigree to make this happen and deliver an Olympic legacy to all.
Bob Neill, Olympic Legacy Minister
The world, and posterity, will judge the legacy of the 2012 Olympics very simply: against the quality, and long term value, of the Legacy it leaves behind... the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centres and the VeloPark â€“ are playing a hugely important role in bringing a meaningful and exciting legacy from the Olympic Games to the local community and beyond.
Picture credits: British Cycling. Tower Hamlets Healthy Borough Programme. London 2012. Andy Smith. Ken Mayers. J Bewley/Sustrans.
Lee Valley Regional Park Authority Myddelton House Bulls Cross Enfield Middlesex EN2 9HG
Tel: 08456 770 600 www.leevalleypark.org.uk
BROXBOURNE 1 Amwell Nature Reserve
2 Lee Valley Marina,
4 Lee Valley Boat Centre
5 River Lee Country Park
Lee Valley Park Farms YHA Lee Valley
6 Lee Valley White Water Centre 7 Gunpowder Park
3 Rye Meads Nature Reserve
8 Lee Valley Campsite, Sewardstone 9 Lee Valley Athletics Centre Lee Valley Camping & Caravan Park, Edmonton 10 Tottenham Marshes 11 Lee Valley Marina, Springfield 12 Walthamstow Marshes SteersMcGillanEves Design 01225 465546
13 WaterWorks Nature Reserve
and Golf Centre Lee Valley Riding Centre Lee Valley Ice Centre
14 Olympic Park:
Lee Valley VeloPark Lee Valley Hockey Lee Valley Tennis Centres
15 Three Mills Island
16 Bow Creek Ecology Park and East India Dock Basin