altJUNE 7 – LONDON 2012 today unveiled their masterplan for the Games site moving volleyball from the Olympic Park to Earls Court and revealing minor changes and details of how the facilities will be used once the Games have finished.




LOCOG claimed it was the first time the plans for an Olympic site had been combined with proposals for a “post-Games legacy” at such an early stage.


“We are delighted that we are setting new standards and benchmarks for delivering the IOC's vision of a sustainable legacy - not after the Games have ended, but right now,” Sebastian Coe, the chairman for the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) said.


“Six years out from hosting the Games, we have a compact and exciting site for the Games that works for the community after the Games have closed.


“The masterplan integrates state-of-the art sports competition venues and living conditions for the world's best athletes in the Park at Games time with new community facilities and opportunities for young people after the Games.”


"The early completion of the masterplan is also testament to the close working relationship between all the stakeholders, especially our partnership with the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA)."


In their bid to win the right to host the Olympics, the London organisers had promised Games with a lasting legacy for the area in the East End of London.


Since winning the bid in July last year, the London team have also been keen to show that they have not wasted any time in preparing for the Games after Athens, hosts of the 2004 Olympics, were criticised for not being ready in time.


As part of the changes, the volleyball will be moved out of the park and across town to the Earls Court centre in West London which they claim will allow for more space for athlete training facilities.


The media centre within the park will provide room for some 20,000 journalists during the Games and will be used as a business centre once they have finished.


Several of the facilities including the paralympic tennis and archery venues will form a sports centre for the local community.


“Detailed planning now is worth its weight in gold further down the track,” said David Higgins, chief executive of the Olympic Delivery Authority. “This is a key building block for the project that allows us to move to the next stage of development from site design to venue and infrastructure design alongside securing the necessary planning permissions.


“It is imperative that Games and legacy are designed and planned hand in hand. When we say we want a culture of no white elephants we mean it. We will only make the most of all the different opportunities open to us if legacy is designed in at the start rather than being grafted on further down the process. That is precisely what we are doing.”


Olympics minister Tessa Jowell said: “We are determined to ensure that legacy is at the heart of everything we do, whether it is delivering world class stadia or providing grassroots facilities designed to benefit the whole community,”


The masterplan has been approved by the International Olympic Committee and the relevant sporting governing bodies.


More than 60 per cent of venues for the 2012 London Games already exist, including Lords, Horse Guards Parade, Wimbledon, Greenwich Park, ExCeL, which will host six Olympic sports, the new Wembley and Hyde Park.


The relocation of volleyball will open up space in the Olympic Park for athlete training facilities close to the Olympic Village and will enhance access and entry to the Main Press Centre and the International Broadcast Centre in the Park.


The key media venues will service approximately 20,000 accredited media from all regions of the world during the Games and provide post-Games facility for new business and employment. 


The masterplan will also enable Olympic Park venues to be used by elite disabled athletes in the Paralympic Games, reflecting integrated planning and operations for the world's two biggest multi sport events for the first time.  Paralympic Tennis and Archery will be positioned together on the site vacated by the Velodrome.


The final masterplan also provides a central location for the sponsor hospitality site, which will include sweeping views of the Park for sponsor and partner companies and organisations helping to fund the cost of staging the Games as well as providing essential goods and services.


The masterplan reflects extensive legacy planning conducted by London 2012 organisers during the Bid to host the Games, in line with IOC requirements for candidate cities to submit detailed technical plans about proposed long-term use of Olympic venues.


Mayor of London Ken Livingstone said: “As the world's stage for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games this careful reconfiguring of the Olympic Park to produce this final masterplan shows our commitment to organise the best ever Games for athletes and spectators alike. But it also shows how we are putting the lasting legacy for London and Londoners that the Games can deliver top of our agenda.”


Colin Moynihan, BOA Chairman said: “The final Masterplan for the Olympic Park has addressed the fine balance required between facilities which must provide ease of access for our athletes during the Games, and those which are placed so that they leave a lasting legacy for sport post-2012. 


“At every stage of the design process, the needs of the athletes who will be competing in London has been at the forefront of the decision making.  To achieve an end-product which encompasses convenience for our athletes together with a long-term facility legacy was essential."


Mike Brace, President of the British Paralympic Association (BPA) said “We’re delighted that the ambition of the London 2012 masterplan is for the Olympic Park venues to be fully accessible. It is vital that London serves the needs of the whole disabled sporting community allowing disabled spectators and competitors to enjoy both the Olympic and Paralympic Games"