Olympic benefits for Hackney before 2012 as Council and LDA Agree Plan for Long Term Gains
11 Aug 2006, Improved sports facilities on Hackney Marshes before 2012, and guaranteed new high quality green space within the Olympic Park will be one set of significant benefits for Hackney from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
These benefits are included in an agreement between Hackney and the London Development Agency (LDA) and provides for up to £4 million of new investment.
Hackney’s Olympic and Paralympic Games lead, Cllr Guy Nicholson, said: “We are committed to our role in London hosting the best Games ever and to securing a sustainable legacy for Hackney residents. We have worked closely with the LDA to secure a guaranteed legacy including additional investment to develop and improve football facilities on Hackney Marshes; and, new high quality green space with direct access to the Olympic Park in the legacy”.
Gareth Blacker, Director of Olympic Development at the LDA said: ’This agreement sets out a plan for investing in Hackney even before the 2012 Games. It guarantees that precious green spaces are returned after the Games, and that Hackney Marshes receives funding. The LDA’s priority is to ensure that Londoners get the most from the Games - and that means new jobs, homes, business opportunities and a better environment. We are pleased to be working with the Council to make sure that Hackney gets these benefits’.
Cllr Nicholson said Hackney Marshes gain significantly from the agreement: “There will be investment into our public open spaces in the Wick and on the Marshes, including new surfaces on many of the football pitches. By 2007, plans for a major sports regeneration programme on the Marshes will be finalised. This programme will have £2 million core funding from the LDA and a further £1 million from Hackney Council. There will be consultation with Marshes users and local people on these proposals in the autumn of this year”.
The LDA is also committing a further £1 million for a programme of environmental improvements on and around the Marshes and the Hackney Wick Neighbourhood.
East Marsh will play host to a temporary facility for coach drop off, disabled and cycle parking in 2012. It will be connected to the Olympic Park by a new land bridge to be put in place for the Games, which will remain as a permanent legacy connecting Hackney to the new Park and neighbourhoods to be created in the Valley to the River Thames.
The agreement guarantees the return of East Marsh for football use after the Games for the benefit of future generations, and commits the LDA to replacing any trees that will be removed. East Marsh will remain in use for football up until May 2011, returning by mid-2013.
Cllr Nicholson said these benefits, combined with the media facilities and the handball arena for 2012 now being located within Hackney, give the borough a strong sporting and employment legacy: “Our focus has always been on the legacy from 2012 for local people. Making Hackney a better place with more opportunities and a better quality of life for all our residents is our priority. This includes improving sports facilities, the environment and our economy”.
The agreement also delivers a pedestrian bridge from Gainsborough School to playing fields in the Olympic Park after 2012.
Notes to editors:
The land within Hackney to be used to host the 2012 Games is: East Marsh; Arena Fields; White Hart Field; Morris Field; Waterden Crescent Travellers Site; and two areas by the A12 identified in the Olympic Compulsory Purchase order (CPO).
The new green space that Hackney gains in the Olympic Park after the Games is in exchange for these areas. The new green space will be an equivalent amount of land in terms of size, condition and use to the land within Hackney that will be used to host the 2012 Games.
The LDA and Hackney will continue to work together to ensure the relocation of the Traveller families from Waterden Crescent who must move because of the Games.
The London Development Agency (LDA) is the Mayor’s agency for sustainable economic development. The LDA prepares the Mayor’s business plan for London and mobilises the support and resources of hundreds of partner organisations to help build a thriving economy for London’s people, businesses and communities. The LDA is dedicated to improving sustainability, health and equality of opportunity for Londoners.
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