From securing the land to build the Olympic Park after the bid was won in 2005, to completing the majority of construction in 2011, a remarkable transformation has taken place in east London, the heart of the London 2012 Games. This area of untapped potential has been developed into a spectacular urban park with world-class venues and new infrastructure links – and the potential for further regeneration for decades to come.
The 'big build'
The Olympic Delivery Authority, established in 2006, was responsible for building the main permanent venues and infrastructure on the Olympic Park, and the Olympic Village. It also built the new Lee Valley White Water Centre and made enhancments to the existing venues at Eton Dorney and Weymouth and Portland.
Every year from 2007, the ODA set out what it would achieve each year, to make it transparent and accountable for the significant public investment in the construction project.
The work started as soon as the ODA gained possession of the Olympic Park site in summer 2007. Between then and summer 2008, work focused on preparing the site for construction. The ODA then began constructing the main venues and infrastructure – known as the ‘big build’.
This was completed on time and within budget by 27 July 2011 – one year ahead of the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony.
This left the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) a year to add the overlay – such as timing systems and dressing – that will transform the new facilities into venues ready for the Games.
Around the UK
Elsewhere in the country, sporting venues have been enhanced or built from scratch, providing world-class facilities for the Games and for the long-term benefit of local communities and elite athletes.
Existing world-famous stadia across the UK, such as Hampden Park, Glasgow, and the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, are hosting the Football competition.
'No white elephants'
Permanent venues have only been constructed when there is a long-term use. If there was not, then temporary venues have been built. Existing landmark venues – such as Wimbledon and Lord’s Cricket Ground are also being used.
Things that are important to us
Throughout the construction programme and planning the Games themselves, we have been thinking of tomorrow: our aim is for the Games to leave an amazing legacy – for the Games to be remembered not only as a summer of fantastic sport, but as the catalyst for the regeneration of one of the most underdeveloped areas of the UK.
In building the venues and staging the Games we have ‘raised the bar’ for both the construction industry and future large-scale events. In areas as diverse as sustainability, health and safety, equality and inclusion, and business, jobs and training we have set new standards to which others can now aspire.