New plans to renovate the now-closed Olympic Park were announced yesterday by the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC). The plans include building 8,000 new homes, five new neighbourhoods, 91,000m of new commercial space and 357 football pitches of landscaped space.
Sustainable employment firm REDS10 will be offering locals 2-3 three year construction apprenticeships on the site that will pay an hourly wage of £6.08. Tom Storey, of REDS10, said, “It’s a very large gardening job.”
Storey explained that as the job is a traineeship, apprentices do not need to be paid the London living wage. The current apprentice National Minimum Wage is £2.65 per hour but REDS10 will be paying nearly three times this amount as residents complained that it’s insufficient.
Throughout the construction,walking and boat tours of the Olympic Park will be available and the LLDC hopes to continue volunteering initiatives by having local tour guides.
The Greenway, a route that trails from West Ham Station to the Olympic Park, is due to reopen 1 December. The LLDC have a ‘dents in the fence’ scheme that will enable locals to walk along the route and view the transformation process. The bridge, which used to link the station to the Park along the Greenway, is in the process of being removed. This announcement was met with frustration by residents, who complained that reaching the Greenway will now mean crossing a dual carriageway.
The Olympic site is currently under construction and will be re-opened as the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in July 2013. The LLDC announced that there shall be an event for local residents and visitors on 27/28 July 2013 to celebrate the opening. Layla Conway, Community Engagement Officer, said the LLDC hopes that 70% of people at the event will be from the surrounding London boroughs.
The LLDC expects 9 million visitors to the Queen Elizabeth Park each year.