An Olympic university will be built on the site of the 2012 Games as part of a world-class sports facility, ministers have announced.
The university will establish a key higher education sporting campus, with Kings College, Imperial College and University College London being among the universities interested in the site. Student accommodation could also utilise some of the housing built for the Games while media and creative departments from the University of East London and London Metropolitan University round out the cultural sphere.
The plans include a range of educational and sporting facilities as well as an additional 10,000 new homes in what Olympics minister Tessa Jowell described as a 'thriving, vibrant district'. The scheme will also provide up to 10,000 new jobs and attract businesses to an area of London most in need of an economic boost. Three new primary schools, a secondary school and an arts academy are touted, along with visions of parklands and waterways, a far cry from the post-war concrete tower blocks currently dominating the east London skyline.
The proposals are backed by Boris Johnson with communities secretary Hazel Blears and Tessa Jowell and suggest that original plans to let the site become the home of a football or rugby club have been shelved in favour of promoting a flagship educational facility for young sportswomen and men.
This lasting legacy can only be a benefit to the local area and will hopefully play a major part in producing the next generation of Olympic athletes as well as bringing financial, cultural and educational regeneration to east London.
By Beth Torr