Written evidence submitted by Lee Valley
Regional Park Authority
1. This submission has been prepared by
Lee Valley Regional Park Authority (LVRPA) in response to the
Culture, Media and Sport Committee's call for evidence on the
legacy from London 2012.
2. The Authority has a major interest in legacy
as a key London 2012 partnerwe own a substantial part of
Olympic Park and will be the owner of four 2012 sports venues.
Our 2012 remit means we have submitted evidence to and supported
the work of local, regional and national government committees
3. In preparing this submission we have also
reviewed our own publication Parklands, Venues and People,
which was published in December 2008. In this document we set
out our thinking about the Olympic Park, given we are owners of
some 20% of the land (and 35% of the parklands), and have committed
in legacy to fund and manage:
the hockey and tennis centres on Eton
Manorthe northern gateway to Olympic Park;
the London 2012 White Water Canoe Centre
(WWCC) currently under construction in Hertfordshire between Waltham
Abbey and Waltham Cross, just north of the M25. This has a unique
early legacy explained in paragraphs 10-12.
4. Our focus in this submission is how we
are preparing for the legacy use of these venues now using:
our current facilities as templates,
particularly the award winning Lee Valley Athletics Centre, Edmonton;
our expert knowledge of operating much-admired
leisure facilities and open spaces.
5. LVRPA was established by Act of Parliament
in 1966. The 26 mile, 10,000 acre Lee Valley Regional Park stretches
from Hertfordshire through Essex, North and East London, Olympic
Park, down to the River Thames. LVRPA is the only statutory leisure
development and management organisation of its kind in the UK,
with a remit covering all forms of sport, leisure, entertainment
and nature conservation. We were set up to provide these services
for the people of London, Essex and Hertfordshireand it
is important to remember that while others (local authorities,
for instance) may provide some of these services at their discretion,
doing this is our statutory obligation.
6. The Park is a mosaic of award-winning open
spaces, sports venues, heritage sites, country parks, farms, golf
courses, lake and riverside trails, campsites, marinas, angling
and boating locations attracting more than four million visitors
a year. We have nine Green Flag awards. We host around 500 local,
regional and national events every year including education and
7. The Authority has a representative Board
structure with elected councillor Members nominated by their own
councils from across the regional constituencyLondon, Essex
and Hertfordshireincluding individual Members from the
four Lower Lee Valley host boroughs. In summer 2009 we instituted
a new governance structure with a six strong Executive Committee
to provide more effective Board leadership, with half from London
and half from Essex and Hertfordshire.
8. We leverage money from the private sector
and government grants to enhance the Park, so do not rely solely
on the contribution from the taxpayers of our regional constituencies,
which comes via a levy on their council tax. £51 million
of capital investment has been made in the Lee Valley Regional
Park over the past five years.
Question 1: Whether the 2012 Games will deliver
a lasting legacy of social, physical and economic regeneration
9. LVRPA committed some years ago to the
running and long term management of the WWCC, VeloPark and tennis
and hockey centres on Eton Manorall of which fall within
our land ownership.
10. The WWCC in Hertfordshire is in the heart
of the Lee Valley Regional Park, only 40 minutes door to door
from Liverpool Street station. Construction work started on site
last summer and LVRPA will open the venue to the public in Spring
2011, a full year before the Games, for white water canoeing and
11. This "pre-Games legacy" is
important for the committee to note, especially as this is the
only brand new sports venue being constructed for the Games outside
Olympic Park and the only one to open to the public ahead of the
Games. Our business plan for the WWCC will attract 70,000 visitors
a year post-Games.
12. While canoeing is the focus for the
London 2012 Games, and will play a large part in the life of the
Centre after the Olympics, most visitors are expected to take
up the challenge of white water raftinga thrilling and
accessible experience available to a variety of people, including
those who have never tried it before.
Question 2: Ways of maximising the value of the
Olympic legacy both within the host boroughs, London and across
13. As stated in paragraph 9, LVRPA is partly
funded by a levy on the council tax payers of London, Essex and
Hertfordshire, so as part of our normal working practices we are
constantly looking to serve this regional audience alongside our
14. In terms of our venues, the WWCC will provide
the area with a major new leisure attraction and will be a catalyst
to the wider regeneration of this part of Hertfordshire and nearby
Essex. The Centre will benefit the area through business, employment,
education, tourism, culture, volunteering and sporting opportunities.
15. It is planned to be a huge draw to a
wide range of people of all abilities by ensuring that the Centre
is both a first rate rafting venue and also provides canoeing
and kayaking sports development opportunitiesoffering everything
from elite training, sessions for clubs, colleges, universities,
schools and community groups to chances for people to learn a
16. LVRPA has pledged that during the summer
and autumn of 2011 every London Borough and Hertfordshire and
Essex district will have the opportunity to send a school group
to the White Water Canoe Centre. We plan to launch this initiative
across the region in spring this year as a way of galvanising
interest from young people in the Centre, attracting them to both
canoeing and rafting.
17. One early indicator of the economic
regeneration has been that one of the UK's largest water sports
retailers has opened an outlet just minutes from the White Water
Canoe Centre site. Brookbank Canoes and Kayaks opened in December
and has been seen locally as a contribution to job creation and
a welcome addition to the local economy.
18. The VeloPark and velodrome will form
a crucial training and competition venue for British cyclists.
There will be three other indoor velodromes in the UK and the
Olympic velodrome with seating for 6,000 spectators will offer
much needed facilities for the whole of the south east.
19. The velodrome replaces the Authority's
Eastway Cycle Circuit, built in the 1970s which had reached the
end of its working life. It hosted major national and international
events, but like all our sports facilities also catered for regional
events and attracted large numbers of schools and community organisations.
The design process for the velodrome has involved former Eastway
users who have assisted with its design, and with the international
BMX facility, one mile road cycle circuit and mountain biking
20. The new VeloPark will be able offer
the fullest variety of cycle disciplines and experiences and will
cater for a wide range of riders.
21. Eton Manor will have the seating capacity
and facilities to attract major hockey tournaments to the capital
for the first time. As with all sporting venues operated by Lee
Valley Regional Park, we will be introducing sports development
programmes, to ensure all ages and abilities can benefit from
this hockey centre. Hockey is currently underprovided in this
area of London and Eton Manor will address this need. At least
two hockey teams will be based at the venue and development programmes
are being put in place now London Boroughs to ensure the sport
22. We have considerable experience marrying
elite and community usage at many of our existing centres and
are particularly looking at our Lee Valley Athletics Centre (LVAC)
as a template for successful sports venues.
23. Our approach at LVAC has already reaped
considerable rewards, both for British sporting teams and local
residents. In the three years it has been open, it has been home
to three of the four Team GB track and field medallists at the
Beijing Olympics (a fifth of Team GB train here) as well as tens
of thousands of children and young people. Its success is down
to a great partnership between ourselves, UK Athletics, the English
Institute of Sport and others.
24. We pride ourselves on an awareness of,
and ability to deliver, facilities for the best in the country
alongside wide scale community use. It is the experience gleaned
from building this solid track record of running first rate venues
which we will be drawing on for the 2012 venues.
25. We see the current set up at the Lee
Valley Athletics Centreproviding a similar mix of opportunity
for novice and elite athletesto that which the VeloPark
will provide for cyclists, Eton Manor will provide for tennis
and hockey and the WWCC will provide for canoeists.
26. LVAC attracts 145,000 users a year,
many have never tried athletics before, let alone in such an inspirational
venue and competing in the same arena as Beijing 400m gold medallist
Christine Ohuruogo. It is also:
one of only two High Performance Athletics
Centres in the UK;
host to almost half Team GB's athletes;
home to Enfield and Haringey Athletics
Clubone of the top five clubs in the country;
a venue for regional and county athletics
a regional hub for the training of athletics
a regional venue for the English Institute
a regular host to international athletes
from a range of sports including fencing, netball and wheelchair
home to a thriving regular development
programme for disabled athletes;
host to an Academy encouraging eight
to 14 year olds to try out athletics and signpost talented youngsters
to clubs where they can make the most of their skills; and
host to one of the few non-football related
Playing for Success schemes which re-engages local pupils who
are finding school difficult, by using athletics to stimulate
their interest in numeracy, literacy and ICT.
27. This inclusive approach of engaging
hard to reach able bodied and less able groups, creating sports
development pathways and providing the best facilities for elite
athletes means LVAC has accessible, flexible and varied programming,
providing a solid asset for the London and the wider region.
Question 3: The use and management of the Olympic
Park and venues after 2012
28. We are working closely with the Olympic
Park Legacy Company and meetings between the two agencies have
seen alignment on a number of issues. These include:
The focus on 2012-14 (the transformation
period) as a key timeframe to deliver quick wins for Olympic Park
in Legacyespecially the phased reopening to the public
of the different parts of the Park.
A coherent and seamless approach to the management
of the Parklands based on OPLC and LVRPA being the main landowners.
The need to both maintain and animate
the open spaces to a high standard.
A strong brand that can appeal to all
potential visitors and users, from local to international, from
community to commerce.
29. LVRPA believes that the accountability
of the different organisations involved in the Olympics has become
clearer with the arrival of OPLC. Put succinctly, the LDA was
responsible for assembling the site; the ODA for delivering the
infrastructure; LOCOG for running the Games and OPLC will take
on the legacy.
30. In our document, Parklands, Venues
and People, we set out three key tests for Olympic Park:
and economically within reach of a wide cross section of the UK's
diverse communities. The Park should focus on the needs of residents
from the five core boroughsHackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets,
Waltham Forest and Greenwichwhile meeting the wider needs
of the rest of London and the UK
Flexiblespaces should be
adaptable and used for a broad range of events, from educational
programmes to international competitions
Variedit should be used
every single day attracting the broadest possible range of people
to be engaged, inspired and enthused by the space wherewe
all anticipatethe greatest Olympic and Paralympic Games
in history were staged.
31. We anticipate that the main Velodromewhich
will be used for Olympics and Paralympicscan and will open
again soon after the Games, to provide cyclists with a brand new,
world class facility and avoiding any "mothballing"
of this venue.
32. In addition, we anticipate that the
post-Games "transformation"which comprises an
adjustment of the BMX track, the construction of a one mile road
track and a mountain biking circuitwill be completed by
2014. We therefore believe that the complete VeloPark will be
fully operational by 2014 providing people of all ages and abilities
with all forms of cycling to enjoyelite, club cyclist,
amateur and beginner including excellent facilities for disabled
33. We welcome the further review being
implemented by OPLC to the Legacy Masterplan Framework (LMF).
While it is important to submit this for planning approval as
soon as practical, it is more important to get it right for the
long term future of the Park. It is also worth reminding the Committee
that London's legacy planning remains ahead of that of other Olympic
cities at this stage. Whilst there is no room for complacency,
progress remains good.
34. As the other main landowner, we look
forward to playing a significant role in the LMF's preparation
and subsequent implementation. We envisage a good mix of security,
park rangers, grounds management activity and environmental and
biodiversity planning to ensure a vibrant park. We will seek to
engage a broad range of volunteer programmes that engage local
and regional communities and minority ethnic groups.
35. Branding for the Olympic Park in legacy
is vital. One of the great legacies for previous cities has been
their ability to continue to use the word "Olympic"
in perpetuity. If this were possible it would be a great advantage
for London 2012 and Olympic Park, based on the associations visitors
will make when using the Park.
Question 4: Progress towards meeting targets to
increase grass roots participation in sport
36. Tennis facilities at Eton Manor include
indoor and outdoor floodlit courts able to host indoor and outdoor
tournaments and provide sports development programmes to ensure
mass participation. It has been specifically designed for disabled
tennis players and will host the Paralympic tennis tournament
during the Games.
37. We are currently working in partnership with
the five host boroughs to support them on the development of their
Strategic Sports Plans for hockey, tennis, cycling, football and
disability sports. We intend to ensure that the host borough plans
complement our legacy plans to ensure maximum benefit to local
residents and regional partners.
38. One touchstone of all our work is the
close relationships with the National Governing Bodies (NGB) of
Hockey, Tennis, Cycling and Canoeing to ensure that our legacy
plans reflect their priorities and Whole Sport Plans, plus those
of County Sports Partnerships. These will create opportunities
for participants, but also focus on coach and volunteer education
39. In addition, we have engaged with a
number of local and regional partners to ensure that our legacy
plans reflect other organisations' key priorities and objectives.
We are developing a Youth and Schools Olympics programme, raising
the profile of Olympic sports through events in the Park and creating
working partnerships with Higher Education universities and colleges.
40. We believe that it is important the
facilities and Olympic Park itself are not seen as only for elite
athletes or in some way as "inaccessible". We will ensure
all the facilities under our remit are communicated and run in
an inclusive manner.
41. Fully funded business plans are in place
for all the facilities run by the Authority and these link directly
with Sport England target audiences.
42. Plans for a White Water attraction in
Lee Valley Regional Park actually go back more than a decade.
We have been working closely with the British Canoe Union to turn
these plans into reality. As with the VeloPark, London 2012 has
been the catalyst to get this venue created, bigger, better, sooner.
43. The WWCC has been designed from the
start for legacy use, with a relatively small amount of Olympic
overlay. Funding for the Centre has come from the ODA, ourselves,
the East of England Development Agency and Sport England. As well
as the main competition course which is being constructed on the
site, we have paid for an "intermediate course" to be
built. This is shorter and has been designed to give promising
canoeists their first taste of white water in a safe, but thrilling,
environment as a key part of the sports development programme
we are developing.
44. Pre-planning such as this will ensure
that all four venues are well used by a variety of target groups
from beginners to elite athletes with extensive community use,
outreach and sports development programmes. They will join the
other regional sports venues the Authority ownsthe Athletics
Centre, Lee Valley Riding Centre and Lee Valley Ice Centreto
create a chain of sporting excellence through the Lee Valley Regional
45. As explained in paragraph 38 we see
the close working relationships we have with national governing
bodies as crucial to the successful legacy of all our venues.
Question 5: The aim of leaving a lasting legacy
that improves cultural life
46. While our focus in this paper has been
on the three venues we will own and operate in legacy, our wider
remit and existing work does involve us in the cultural life of
the local community.
47. We have a wide ranging series of events and
activities which we organise both ourselves and with partners,
from film festivals to Scout Jamborees and more. We do however
feel that other organsiations are better placed to answer the
question on cultural legacy.
Question 6: How success in delivering lasting
legacy can be measured
48. In terms of a measurable, sporting contribution
to legacy, ours will come from an increased participation in cycling,
canoeing, tennis and hockey.
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