Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park – long term vision

Questions to the Mayor of London – answered on 6th November 2019.

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Photo of Navin Shah Navin Shah Labour

What is the long-term vision for the park and how are you progressing with your plans?

Sir Peter Hendy CBE (Chair, London Legacy Development Corporation):

It is no different, I think, from what everybody signed up to as part of the Olympic legacy. It is inclusive growth; it is community; it is opportunity. As I said at the beginning, I think we can already demonstrate that those principles are being adopted in what is being done there so far, and on what currently the LLDC is engaged in; so actually bringing a world-class educational and cultural centre to the place is not only of benefit to the Park and the people who work there and immediately live there, but we see it as a huge benefit to the wider community; both in the immediate area in east London and London. I think it is a really very good example of how we are seeking to develop the place for the long-term benefit of the city.

Lyn can talk to you about the housing. What we have done with the Stadium is designed to make it a sustainable part of the Park for the future, rather than a continuing liability. We take that through to principles which involve the employment of local people, providing training opportunities and so forth. I think one of the huge benefits of this development corporation is the comprehensive nature of the undertakings which we expect builders, developers, occupants, residents and educational establishments to provide. If you go to any particular employer or any particular part of the Park, we can identify local people who have benefitted from the principles which we have adopted to use.

If you go to Loughborough University London, for example, they have a large postgraduate education centre at Here East. They have a scheme to find further educational training for unemployed graduates in the area. Those things are very exceptional. They are things that a lot of local authorities would surely like to do but actually do not have the resources to do. I think we can both explain what the principles are, but we can also demonstrate that we are acting on them.

Photo of Navin Shah Navin Shah Labour

I have only got a couple of minutes. In fact, Lyn, when you come in on this particular aspect, I have specific information I am after, because if I refer to LLDC’s Board papers going back to May, it is stated that there is a delivery strategy for the vision which is due to follow, setting out detailed objectives and under each of the visions, three sections, three aspirations and a clear approach to measuring success, impact and outcomes that will follow. Can you tell us, when will the delivery strategy be actually published?

Lyn Garner (Chief Executive, London Legacy Development Corporation):

I think we did have a debate at Board around new focused vision. The reason for that was to think about the future of the development corporation in the next five to six years, because clearly a development corporation does not last forever; it is a time-limited organisation. We decided we needed to make sure that the principles we were putting in place around inclusive growth, community and opportunity were relevant with that in mind and really focus on those opportunities. We would be in a position to publish that towards the end of this year or early 2020. We are in conversation with the boroughs about them being joined up in some of that vision through our Board meetings, because it is pointless a development corporation putting together a long-term vision when its life is coming to an end during the period of that long-term vision. At the moment we are working hard to join up with the boroughs to make sure that whatever we publish is right for the area and that they can pick up those pieces as we move forward. That is why it has gone to Board in May but you have not seen it published yet, because we are working it through with the boroughs and getting aligned on those principles, which are really important.

In terms of how we are progressing with the plans, we are well underway with the East Bank plans, which will come to fruition in 2022 to 2023. There is still a lot of housing to come, another 23,000 homes. All the venues, as you know, are open and operating, but getting them on to a firmer financial footing, the Stadium in particular, is really important. We are progressing well, as I outlined in the introduction, but there is still quite a lot to do there. I think at the same time we need to make sure that we are working with academic partners and these significant partners coming to the Park in the arts and culture piece ‑‑

Photo of Navin Shah Navin Shah Labour

I have a question coming up after on East Bank.

Lyn Garner (Chief Executive, London Legacy Development Corporation):

OK, fine. I was just going to say that ‑‑

Photo of Navin Shah Navin Shah Labour

If you can stop there because I am out of my time, I am afraid.

Lyn Garner (Chief Executive, London Legacy Development Corporation):

‑‑ working with those partners will help secure the inward investment for the longer term. Having the UCL campus there in east London is going to be tremendous for inward investment in growth moving forward, we think.