The main venues and infrastructure for the London 2012 Games were constructed on time and within budget by July 2011, one year ahead of the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games.
While the Olympic Park site was being prepared, designs were being developed for each of the new venues.
They needed to be an appropriate stage for the greatest sporting and cultural event on Earth, but they also needed to look beyond 2012.
Permanent venues were only built if there was a long-term use. Elsewhere, temporary venues have been built or existing venues transformed or enhanced for the Games.
London 2012 also wanted to set an excellent standard of accessibility and be inclusive to all sections of society.
Before formal applications for the new venues on the Park were submitted to the planning authority, the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA)carried out extensive consultation with the local community and groups representing specific themes, such as accessibility, sustainability, security, faith, and health and safety.
The big build begins...
On the Park, the first sporting venue to gain planning permission was the Olympic Stadium, on which construction started in May 2008, closely followed by the Aquatics Centre. However, off the Park, work building work had begun six months earlier on the improvements at Weymouth and Portland.
After the first year of the big build, the foundations of the Olympic Stadium and Aquatics Centre were complete and underway on the other main venues. Work had started or was about to begin on the smaller venues in the Park and most of the plots of the Olympic Village. The improvements to Weymouth and Portland had been completed – the first sporting venue to be ready for use.
By the end of the second year of the big build, the Olympic Park had been transformed, with the structures of all the sporting venues completed and the enhancements at Eton Dorney finished.
... and finishes
The final year of the big build saw the construction of all the venues completed, with them handed over to the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) so they could hold test events and add the finishing touches to transform the facilities into venues ready to stage the Games.
Less than two years after it had started, the construction of the Velodrome was completed in February 2011. It was the first sporting venue on the Olympic Park to be finished by the ODA and passed to LOCOG, 18 months ahead of the Games.
By then, the new Energy Centre and Primary Substation on the Park had already been finished and were operational, supplying power to the venues being built across the Park and to the adjacent Westfield Stratford City shopping centre.
The new Lee Valley White Water Centre in Hertfordshire had not only been completed in late 2010, but it was to open to the public by April 2011 – benefiting elite canoeists and the local community more than a year ahead of the Games.
One by one, the sporting venues on the Olympic Park were handed over by the ODA to LOCOG, finishing with the Aquatics Centre on 27 July 2011, one year ahead of the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony.