The London Legacy Development Corporation has promised £2m towards a Paralympic legacy on the Olympic Park that will establish an annual festival of disability sport along with new sporting, leisure and employment opportunities.
After the Games, the Legacy Corporation will turn the Olympic Park into the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park - a new part of London that will champion inclusive design and opportunities for disabled people, families and older people.
Tens of thousands of people are expected to benefit from the £2m Paralympic Legacy Programme which will build on the success of the Paralympic Games.
The Programme will help to create new homes, public spaces and sporting venues that are accessible, along with introducing a range of sports for disabled people including wheelchair rugby, boccia, wheelchair basketball and Goalball in the Copper Box. It will also help disabled people to get jobs on the Park.
A new annual festival of disability sport will also be established, along with the creation of an inclusive map of the Park to guide people through accessible attractions and facilities.
The Legacy Corporation is working now to create a Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park that will be open to all to enjoy and in doing so, London is unique among host cities in their foresight in planning for both the Olympic and Paralympic legacy of the Games.
The Legacy Corporations investment will deliver a host of accessible features in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park including:
- An annual festival of disability sport on the Park linked to a programme of sports training across sporting clubs in the surrounding boroughs
- An accessible map of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and venues outlining all accessible features including step free access, blue badge parking, playgrounds, baby changing facilities and faith rooms
- A Paralympic Legacy Ambassadors programme that recruits Paralympians and other disabled people to be community champions and Park mentors
- An All Ability Cycling Club that works with Tower Hamlets based Bikeworks to provide specially adapted bikes for young people with physical and learning difficulties
- Paralympic sports across the Park including wheelchair rugby, boccia, wheelchair basketball and Goalball in the Copper Box
- A pool lift at the Aquatics Centre to assist disabled and older people people to get in and out of the pool
- An inclusive gym for disabled athletes to be added to the Copper Box
- 5% job targets for disabled people by the Legacy Corporations contractors
- Award winning inclusive design standards for five planned neighbourhoods including 10% wheelchair accessible homes
- Making tow-paths accessible on Lea Navigation Canal
- A Built Environment Access Panel to ensure high quality inclusive design - made up of older and disabled people, academics and experts
The Olympic Park has already been hailed by Paralympian Baroness Tanni Grey-Thomson as the most accessible Olympic Park in history.
Inclusive Design is a key focus for the Legacy Corporation which will maintain gentle gradients, wider paths and aisles, tactile pavements and surfaces, and accessible venue entrances as it creates a new destination for Londoners to enjoy.
Simple design criteria - such as a 1 in 60 gradient to ease access to venues and facilities - will be the template across the Park as the LLDC redevelops the existing facilities for everyday use.
The £292m creation of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park after the Games will lay the foundations for further development across East London over the next 20 years.
The transformation, called Clear, Connect, Complete has three main objectives: To clear Games-time structures including temporary venues, bridges, walkways and roads; to connect the Park to the surrounding area with new roads, cycle and foot paths; and to complete permanent venues, bridges and parklands ready for residents and visitors everyday use.
To enable people to get onto the Park as quickly as possible, the Legacy Corporation has carefully planned its works to re-open the Park in phases, as each piece of work reaches completion.
The Park will begin to reopen from 27 July, 2013, in the North Park before the South Park opens in spring 2014.