London 2012 Olympics best legacy ever, says IOC

International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge has praised the forthcoming summer Olympics in east London as a “legacy blueprint” for all future Games around the world.

His endorsement came ahead of his meeting today (Weds) with the Prime Minister in Downing Street to hear where London’s preparations are.

“London has raised the bar on how to deliver a lasting legacy,” he said. “We can already see tangible results in the remarkable regeneration of east London. This has created a legacy blueprint for the future.”

The IOC is in London on a three-day inspection which coincides with publication of the Government’s blueprint setting out for the first time the sporting, economic, regeneration and community legacy after the Olympics.

It includes operators already under contract to run six of the eight venues after 2012—to make sure no white elephants are left behind as in previous Games.

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The Olympic Park Legacy Company’s chief Andrew Altman said: “East London has set the benchmark for using the Games as a catalyst for regeneration.”

But organisers insist there is no complacency while there remains “a huge amount” to complete before the Games open on July 27.

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Preparations for London 2012 coincided with the worst global economic crisis since the Second World War, it is pointed out.

But investment kept up, resulting in London 2012 now helping support Britain’s recovery with 98 per cent of its contracts going to UK companies.

Urban regeneration across east London has been at a pace and scale never attempted before. Most of the �6.5bn transport upgrades have been in east London, including the �200m Stratford station redevelopment. Commercial investment in areas surrounding the Olympic Park include start-ups in Tech City in Shoreditch and the �1.4bn Westfield Stratford City shopping centre, the biggest in Europe.

Plans are advanced by the GLA and the host boroughs including Tower Hamlets and neighbouring Hackney and Newham to integrate the Olympic Park into the surrounding communities with plans to turn London’s newest postcode, E20, into one of the most inclusive places to live.

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