Written evidence submitted by the London Borough of Hackney (OLL 29)


1. Summary


1.1 Hackney is one of the five host boroughs for London 2012 with one third of the Games area based in the borough.


1.2 The Council, led by Mayor Jules Pipe, has a clear vision and set of priorities linked to the Olympics. This involves helping to deliver a successful and memorable Games, but most importantly, securing long-term benefits for Hackney residents. From the time London won the bid, the Mayor of Hackney has clearly set out his priorities for 2012, which is securing a meaningful legacy benefit for Hackney; "The Games will be great for Britain but my job is to ensure that they are great for the people of Hackney, and will leave behind a legacy of lasting regeneration."


1.3 Hackney Council has used the potential legacy for 2012 as a key driver to help secure planned improvements to transport infrastructure, and has successfully utilised the Games to engage residents in sports and volunteering programmes.


1.4 Hackney is driving a major arts and cultural legacy for the host boroughs through CREATE, which is developing into an annual international festival based in east London.


1.5 Hackney has developed a joint legacy vision for ambitious socio-economic transformation jointly with the other host boroughs. The Strategic Regeneration Framework has at its core the principle of convergence which states that that within 20 years, the communities who host the 2012 Games will have the same social and economic chances as their neighbours across London. This will finally address the historic imbalance in wealth between different parts of the Capital.


1.6 Hackney has strong working partnerships with all the agencies essential to delivering the legacy. This includes not just the Olympic Delivery Authority and LOCOG, but bodies like the Homes and Communities Agency, London Development Agency and London Thames Gateway Development Corporation. The Council is already working closely with the new Olympic Park Legacy Company, with Mayor Jules Pipe sitting on the board.


2. About Hackney


2.1 Hackney is one of London's most exciting boroughs, with a uniquely diverse population, rapidly improving public services and a bright future as a host for London 2012. The borough has more green space than any other inner London borough, some of the capital's best leisure facilities, excellent schools, and falling crime levels. It is home to some of the UK's most deprived families, living side by side with increasingly educated and affluent neighbours. A quarter of residents are under the age of 19.


2.2 Hackney Council is ambitious, forward-looking and well-run. It has recently been rated as performing well, with recognised excellence in adult social care and exceptional performance in its work to reduce infant mortality. Providing value for money has been at the heart of the Council's agenda for a number of years, and in the current climate Hackney has an outstanding record on delivering efficiency savings and rapid service improvement. Mayor Pipe has proposed a fifth successive year of Council Tax freeze, making Hackney the only council in the UK to ever achieve this.


3. Legacy opportunities: social, physical and economic regeneration


3.1 The 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games present an set of opportunities for Hackney, coming at a time when the area has already been witnessing significant improvements in the lives of its residents, driven forward by the local authority and its partners. The 2012 Games have also presented Hackney Council with challenges, including ensuring the protection of Hackney's unique natural and built environment in the face of rapid development, and working to ensure that the planned legacy benefits of the 2012 bid are realised.


3.2 To ensure Hackney gets the best from the Games, Mayor Jules Pipe has established eight priorities for Hackney in hosting the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games:


Better public transport

Skills, training and jobs for local people

Work for local business and enterprise

Improved facilities for sport and leisure

A better environment

A healthy active borough with more people involved in sport and physical activity

Increasing levels of participation in culture and the arts

Promoting the borough as a great place for living, working, visiting and investing


3.3 An essential part of Hackney's 2012 programme has been to get residents involved, spreading ownership of the Games, increasing positive opportunities and raising aspirations.


3.4 In 2009, Hackney was awarded Beacon Status for outstanding work in using the opportunity of hosting the 2012 Games to encourage communities to be more active. The Council is focusing on four areas: increasing physical activity; stimulating jobs, training and volunteering; encouraging involvement in cultural programmes and developing community environment projects.


3.5 The press and broadcast centres have the potential to be one of the most significant and transformative legacy opportunities that the Games offer the borough. If this potential is realised, it will help to establish an employment hub and new metropolitan district at Hackney Wick in the east of the borough, alongside the new parklands.


3.6 Economic Regeneration: A new neighbourhood at Hackney Wick

Plans are gathering pace for a new neighbourhood at Hackney Wick in the east of the borough on the edge of the Olympic Park. It will be a major new centre for work, leisure and housing, accommodating the thousands of jobs anticipated on the media centres site. This is a huge opportunity brought about by important infrastructure and facilities that will be inherited from the Games. These include not only the International Broadcast Centre and Main Press Centre buildings, but also Arena 3 (as a multi-use sports venue), new road and bridge infrastructure and, immediately to the south, a combined heat and power station.


The Main Press Centre (MPC) and International Broadcast Centre (IBC), with 900,000 sq ft of employment space, provide the first-class communications connections necessary to draw in media, creative and digital industries. The vision for the area is a vibrant and stimulating place to live, work and visit, with an attractive mix of housing catering for a range of needs including families, strong public transport links, local services and infrastructure, and excellent access to parkland, open space and waterways


Hackney Council has always recognised the centrality of the media centres legacy to securing the long term prosperity of Hackney Wick. The recession led to the loss of private investment funding for the media centres which for a time threatened their proposed permanence and location. Mayor Pipe lobbied the ODA and Government effectively to ensure that the media centres stayed in Hackney Wick as permanent buildings and campaigned for better designs, which previously did not meet the needs of future tenants.



Social and economic regeneration


3.7 Hackney has worked closely with the other four host boroughs since 2003 (Greenwich, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest). Strong local partnerships are forming within and between the boroughs as a direct result of hosting the Olympics. This has resulted in a Multi Area Agreement to tackle worklessness, improve housing and invest in the public realm across the five host boroughs. Hackney has seen a significant rise in its employment rate, which is now only 0.5% below the London average. Whilst this is not directly attributable to the Games, there is no doubt that the successful worklessness programmes led by the local authority and its partners have benefited from the intensified economic interest in the area.


3.8 In October 2009, the host boroughs agreed the Strategic Regeneration Framework with the Mayor of London, Olympics Minister and Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. This document outlines a shared vision that within 20 years the communities who host the 2012 Games will have the same social and economic chances as their neighbours across London. The sub-region accounts for the greatest cluster of deprivation in England and Wales, and this ambitious goal aims to halt a century of social decline with an immense pace of change.


4. Maximising the value of the Olympic Legacy


4.1 Since the inception of the 2012 bid, Hackney has had its eye firmly on the legacy potential of the Games. The Council is building the firm foundations of local service excellence, combined with a skilled and well educated local workforce. This is essential to ensure the borough is best placed to take advantage of the new economic landscape of east London, post 2012.


4.2 The Olympic Park will be the largest urban park created in Europe for 150 years. The International Broadcast Centre, Main Press Centre, Arena 3 (used for handball during the Games) and the new Arena Fields are all sited in Hackney. Arena 3 will become a multi-sports venue for the community in 2013. Significant areas of new green space will also be located in Hackney within the Park, 28 acres of which will revert to Hackney's ownership.


4.3 The 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will create thousands of jobs in games time, but more importantly we expect the new neighbourhood and opportunities left by the Games to be the real driver for long term economic change. Hackney residents and local businesses must get the chance to benefit from these opportunities and the long-term benefits which we hope will exist for years after the Games.


4.4 The improvements to the borough's transport infrastructure, which has been historically poor, have been a massive boost to enable the Council to actively promote easier travel within and to the borough.


4.5 Before, during and after the Games, the Council is promoting Hackney as a destination for investment and a place where visitors can enjoy the borough's celebrated theatres, galleries, arts scene, restaurants, cafes and extensive parks and green spaces.


4.6 The following provide examples of the legacy benefits happening now:




4.7 After years of campaigning, led by the Mayor, the borough now has its first tube connection via the extension of the East London Line. Hackney has new stations at Dalston, Haggerston, Hoxton and Shoreditch opening this year, and the link will extend to Highbury and Islington by 2011. The expansion of the East London Line and improvements to the North London Line were planned before the 2012 bid was successful but since then Hackney Council has been able to use 2012 to secure the timely delivery of these and additional infrastructure improvements.


4.8 Funding has been secured for new cycle and pedestrian routes into the Olympic Park, so that communities are well connected to the new parks and sports facilities. Six new bridges for cyclists and pedestrians are planned, with two existing bridges being upgraded to support bus services. A 20 mile per hour zone will be maintained post Games in the park.


Jobs, business and skills


4.9 Over 400 people have been placed in jobs through OnSite (Hackney's Jobs Brokerage), 80 with Olympic contractors. Around 1,000 people have been given employment support. The Games have stimulated more people to seek work - with several thousand attendees at the 2012 Jobs Fairs.


4.10 Hackney Community Transport, a Hackney social enterprise, won a contract from Bovis to provide a bus service to transport workers and visitors around the Olympic Park.


4.11 Hackney Council is working with training organisations like Skillset, the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation and Hackney Community College, to make sure local people can gain skills in media and IT, hospitality and catering, and benefit from the media centres and a boosted visitor economy.


Participation and inclusion


Hackney has successfully harnessed the excitement and local pride in being a host borough for 2012 and successfully used the Games to promote sporting excellence, fitness and overall particiaption.


4.12 Hackney has seen the highest number of people graduate from the Personal Best volunteering programme, with more than 220 graduates. Personal Best volunteers have been involved with the International Olympic Committee visit to London and handover events. Two volunteers now have jobs with the Olympic Delivery Authority as guides for the Olympic Park.


4.13 In Hackney, 20 Youth Ambassadors have been recruited and trained so they are able to communicate Games related information to their peers in school, youth clubs and other settings. They have contributed to the legacy planning process and spoken to the International Olympic Committee.


4.14 To provide greater opportunities for disabled and non disabled people to participate in sport inclusively, the Council concentrated on developing five disabled sports. There is now a dedicated sports club for boccia, swimming, athletics, wheelchair basketball and goalball.


4.15 Case study: Sharon Jones Barnes

Sharon Jones Barnes has been a wheelchair user since 2007 after she suffered stroke and had a partial leg amputation. As part of her physiotherapy, Sharon discovered a love of

Badminton and in June 2008 she started training. Success came quickly with two silver medals at the Four Nations tournament. In March 2009, Hackney Council's 2012 Unit secured funding for a sports wheelchair which she says has really improved her game. Sharon won two gold medals at the Devonshire Championships in June 2009, and has passed her Level 1 Badminton Coach Assessment. Sharon is now lined up to take part in international championships.



Visitor destination


4.16 Hackney is one of the Capital's most vibrant cultural and artistic places. The Games provides an opportunity to promote attractions such as the Hackney Empire, Hackney Museum, White Cube art gallery, Geffrye Museum and Sutton House.


4.17 Hackney has a vibrant economy in popular areas such as Dalston, Hoxton, Stoke Newington, Hackney Wick, Hackney Central and Shoreditch which is benefiting from host borough status.


4.18 The Council is working closely with hotel developers and the hospitality industry to identify sites for new hotels and related developments. Over 500 new hotel rooms have been given planning permission.


5. Use and management of Olympic Park post 2012


5.1 As one of only three landowners in the Olympic Park, Hackney is aware of the exceptional asset that this amenity will prove to be. The open space and waterways are features that the Council believes will attract local, regional, national and international visitors.


5.2 The Council is confident, through joint sports development planning with the host boroughs, that the venues will have full community use after the Games. These will be another major local and regional asset.


5.3 Sport and recreation facilities are not just limited to the Olympic Park itself. A parallel plan is being developed for Hackney Marshes - the world famous home of grassroots football - to the north of the Park. The Marshes will benefit from improved facilities, including new pitches and changing rooms, which will enable a wider range of sports, such as cricket and rugby. The Council expanded the quality and scope of the original 3 million programme, funded by the LDA in a land use deal to facilitate the creation of the Olympic Park, and worked to find 14 million of investment capital.


6. Sports participation


6.1 Hackney has seen a 43% increase in leisure usage in the last two years - predominantly as a result of the reopening of Clissold Leisure Centre, the only leisure centre in London to be rated as excellent, and London Fields Lido. This increase is chiefly due to the huge improvements to local facilities, alongside the creation of new facilities. The success of these two high quality publicly-owned facilities in increasing participation means that confidence is high for similar outcomes with Olympic related venues.


6.2 Hackney's Personal Bests scheme uses sports associated with the Olympics to enthuse and encourage individuals to try, take part and improve. The accompanying message is 'be the best you can be.' It has been hugely successful with schools (see below) and the same approach is undertaken with older people in the New Age Games - over 200 people took part in 2009.


6.3 Grassroots sports participation: Personal Bests scheme

Personal Bests aims to raise awareness of the 2012 Games and tackle the prevalence of childhood obesity in Hackney. This is done through increasing participation in physical activities and providing information on ways to live a healthier lifestyle.


Children try a series of Olympic and Paralympic based athletic disciplines. At the end of the first session the children set their baseline scores and they continue to compete again their own personal best scores. Each school holds a Personal Bests final. The scoring system rewards improvement rather than excellence alone. This removes some of the direct competition and the individual pressure that can have a detrimental effect to less naturally talented athletes; however, as everyone receives a score, the competitive element is maintained.


The six boys and girls that show the greatest levels of improvement are selected to represent their school at the Personal Best Finals against the other participating schools. The scoring system enables the programme to be fully inclusive, with both disabled and non-disabled children competing against each other.


From January to July 2010, 37 schools will take part in Personal Bests (up from 26 in 2008/09) including five special schools, a pupil referral unit and an independent Muslim school. In 2009, 280 children attended the finals; 72% of participants had not represented their school before.


Other elements of the programme include after schools clubs, workbooks and teaching materials, a classroom lesson with Paralympian Dervis Konuralp and the young Leaders Award qualification course. The programme is funded by Hackney's Local Strategic Partnership, Team Hackney, and delivered by the borough's 2012 Unit. Equipment is supplied by the 2012 Unit, which the schools keep to encourage future use.



7. Cultural legacy


7.1 Hackney is the lead borough for culture among the five host boroughs, which are home to the largest cultural quarter in Europe. Over 12,000 artists are based in the area alongside a growing number of leading creative companies and cultural institutions, iconic arts venues and an extraordinary range of communities.


7.2 The boroughs have been working together to deliver an annual arts festival, CREATE, with leading venues and cultural organisations including national bodies such as the BBC and the newly formed Cultural Olympiad Committee.


7.3 A cultural legacy: CREATE

With CREATE, the host boroughs aim to develop the UK's next major international arts festival - a legacy that will have a lasting impact on the cultural life of London and the UK. The CREATE partnership extends to developing a range of year-round arts activity


CREATE 09 attracted audiences of over 822,000, provided opportunities for 220,000 people to actively participate in events and contributed 15m to the east London economy. Nearly 600,000 in new funding was secured by the Host Boroughs Unit to support the festival.


As the lead host borough for culture, Hackney will be highly involved in expanding CREATE to become a national festival in 2012. 6 million has already been raised to support this work which will see major outdoor cultural events across the country as well as the host boroughs.


A new company structure is now being developed to help sustain this success and ensure a future for CREATE beyond 2012.



7.4 Leading on from CREATE, the host boroughs are also the lead partner for CREATE Outdoors (the Festival of Carnivals), one of the Major Projects of the Cultural Olympiad. Hackney chairs the national programme board which includes LOCOG and the Cultural Olympiad Committee. This is an opportunity to build a legacy of mass participatory outdoor events. Hackney and the host boroughs area, as noted above, have an abundance of artistic and creative talent, as well as a potential audience of 1.25 million people.


7.5 As part of the Cultural Olympiad, the second Hackney One Carnival took place in September 2009, with 7,500 residents and visitors lining the streets to watch the procession and enjoying events in Hackney Downs Park. More than 850 performers from 16 carnival groups took part.


8. Measuring legacy


8.1 Hackney has developed a sophisticated set of indicators and outputs for measuring the success and sustainability of legacy goals. This encompasses a wide variety of social and economic issue including:


Increased levels of physical activity in Hackney and enhanced sense of well-being (social, physical and psychological) among young people and older people.

Trainees in Olympic (Local Employment and Training Framework) funded programmes entering employment.

Number of Hackney residents receiving skills training which would not have taken place without the Games.

120,000 square metres of high quality business accommodation inherited from the Olympics.

A minimum of 3,000 jobs created under legacy use.

A fully occupied digital media employment hub on the site of the press and broadcast centres.

Appropriate road, rail, bus, pedestrian and cycling routes into the Olympic Park.

An unbroken area of open parkland, adaptable for a range of activities, to the north of the park owned by Hackney and host to a variety of habitats.

Mixed tenure housing developments which meet the needs of the borough.


9. Conclusion


9.1 East London has long been undergoing a process of regeneration and economic growth, particularly in Hackney with its place at the heart of the capital on the City fringes, and as the home of London's creative and digital media industries.


9.2 Underpinned by rapidly improving public services, Hackney's economic growth has taken on a momentum, which has been intensified by the prospect of the 2012 Games. The Games has served to focus and accelerate regeneration efforts, but we expect the real lasting legacy to be the creation of the new neighbourhood around the Olympic Park, bringing thousands of homes and jobs and physically transforming an area previously blighted by brownfield industrial wasteland.


9.3 Hackney has successfully used the Games to engage local people and to boost participation in sports, and has campaigned to ensure that the media centre legacy can offer the best possible chance for long term opportunity. The borough is already beginning to feel the benefits of positive association with the Games. Hackney Council will continue to work to ensure that the full promise of 2012 is delivered.


February 2010