The Games may have come and gone, but its legacy remains for residents of Waltham Forest. To date the Games have brought significant investment to the borough for improvements to our streets, parks and open spaces, as well as employment and volunteering opportunities for residents.
At a glance: 10 key changes or improvements as a result of the Games
1) More than £22m invested in the borough’s streets, pavements and parks
2) A £7m construction skills centre to teach residents the skills of the trade
3) More than £5m for Leyton’s popular parks and green spaces
4) Better access links, including a £2.5m foot and cycle bridge to the Olympic Park
5) £475,000 to give Leyton High Road a facelift, with more areas to benefit
6) Grants of up to £1,000 for home owners to spruce up their properties in advance of the Games
7) Employment and volunteering opportunities
8) New leisure opportunities, including the facilities at Eton Manor
9) Sporting bursaries for some of our most talented young athletes
10) Hundreds of free Olympic and Paralympic tickets for local school children
11) Increased trade for local businesses
As a Host Borough we tapped into more than £9m of funding to make the borough’s streets smarter and safer.
These works have been focused in Leyton and Leytonstone. Local people have seen vast improvements that include roads resurfaced, pavements renewed and de-cluttered, better street lighting and the inclusion of more greenery.
As a key route into the Olympic Park, we secured £2.25 million for works to Ruckholt Road. It provided vital access to the Olympic Park during the Games and the fantastic facilities will be there for residents for years to come.
High Road Leyton benefited from £475,000 of funding which has transformed 21 businesses. This included new shutters and de-cluttering of the street scene, leaving the area more visually appealing, vibrant and welcoming to shoppers and businesses. Additional work is now underway in Leyton and Walthamstow, and a recent Cabinet decision will see £9m invested into nine of the borough’s high streets.
Eton Manor and the Olympic Park
During the 2012 Games, Eton Manor in the Olympic Park hosted the Paralympic Wheelchair Tennis and three Olympic-size swimming pools which were used by athletes for training during the Olympics. Leyton’s Eton Manor will be transformed to provide brand new sporting facilities for the local community. The area will contain four indoor and six outdoor tennis courts, two international standard hockey pitches and ten five-a-side football pitches.
The council is working hard to ensure that the facilities are affordable for local residents.
A boost for leisure facilities in Leyton
Four sport and play areas are set for multi-million pound face-lifts following a legacy agreement between the Council and Olympic Delivery Authority. This funding means new football pitches, improved tennis courts and games areas for the venues, as well as new and upgraded pavilions. Some of the works are already complete.
The Lawn Tennis Association provided additional funding for the makeover of the tennis courts in Abbotts Park, which now boasts a pavilion, four improved adult courts and two new mini courts for youngsters.
Leyton Jubilee Park
Leyton Jubilee Park (previously Marsh Lane Playing fields and Ive Farm) has a new junior and mini-soccer hub, basketball court and pavilion, with more improvements to come. The park officially opened on Wednesday 29 August, the day we welcomed the Paralympic Torch Relay to the borough.
Improvements to come
Improvement works to Drapers Field will begin in 2013 and will see the introduction of a new all-weather pitch, a grass junior football pitch, cycling facilities and play facilities and the landscape of the site will be transformed. When the facility reopens in September 2013 its accessibility and movement through the site will be vastly improved, thereby encouraging walking and cycling in the local area and improving connections with the Olympic Park and Stratford City.
London Legacy Development Corporation
The London Legacy Development Corporation is responsible for the long term planning, development, management and maintenance of the Olympic Park and its facilities after the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The Corporation aims to create a lasting legacy by developing the Park to become, in time, a new and prosperous metropolitan area of the city.
By using the energy of and investment in the Games and its sporting legacy, the Park will become a ’must see, must return’ destination, focused on vibrant communities, world renowned sporting facilities , public park lands and open spaces.
Over the next four years all of the borough’s leisure centres will be refurbished or rebuilt. Work starts on Leyton Leisure Lagoon in October 2012.
This is part of a multimillion pound investment into the borough’s leisure centres.
Some residents have trained at the borough’s £7m construction skills centre in the run-up to the Games, obtaining the knowledge and practical skills the industry demands so they could not only work on the stunning Olympic landmarks themselves but have lasting, profitable careers long after the Games are over.
The Council also did what it could to ensure local people benefited from new Olympic-related jobs. For example we hired 91 temporary street cleaners to ensure the borough’s street were clean and made a concerted effort to ensure as many of these jobs as possible went to local people.
Games-time tickets for school children
We encouraged schools to sign up to LOCOG’s Get Set initiative - an endeavour that saw every single one of the borough’s schools sign up to be part of the 2012 Games. As part of the initiative, school children got free Olympic and Paralympic Games tickets from LOCOG. In addition the Council gave hundreds of free tickets to the borough’s looked after children.