London 2012 take over Olympic Village to coincide with six months until start of Games

Friday, 27 January 2012
By Duncan Mackay in London

Matthew Pinsent_olympic_village_27-01-121January 27 - To mark six months until the start of London 2012, the Olympic Village has been handed over by the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) so officials can start the huge process of fitting-out the new apartments ready for the arrival of more than 10,000 athletes.

Four times Olympic gold medallist Matthew Pinsent (pictured) has already helped London 2012 the "bedding in" process helping lift in the first of more than 16,000 beds to be installed in the Village in the coming months.

The Village, which has been completed on time, will accommodate up to 16,000 athletes and officials for the Olympics, which are due to open on July 27. 

Besides installing the thousands of webs, the fit-out and overlay work now underway to get the Village ready for the Games includes 64,000 bed sheets and 21,000 pillows, 9,000 wardrobes and more than 170,000 coat hangers, 11,000 sofas, 5,000 bins and 5,000 toilet brushes and equipping each apartment with a television and wi-fi services

It will also constructing the temporary 24-hour main dining facility with 5,000 seats, as well the Village Plaza Café and "Grab-and-go" carts with the Village set to provide the largest peacetime catering operation in the world with up to 60,000 meals served daily, including 25,000 loaves of bread, 232 tonnes of potatoes, 75,000 litres of milk and more than 330 tonnes of fruit and vegetables.

Olympic Village_with_Matthew_Pinsent
London 2012 also need to build the Olympic Village Plaza, the main social hub with essential shops and services for athletes and guests including a café, general store, bank, beauty & grooming salon, internet lounge, London 2012 shop and entertainment centre.

They will also be constructing the Welcome Centre, the initial arrival point for athletes and officials to be officially accredited for the London 2012 Games, and installing exercise equipment to create a state-of-the art athlete gym in Chobham Academy.

"Athletes are at the heart of the London 2012 Games and our plans for the Olympic Village will provide them with a home-from-home as they prepare for one of the biggest sporting moments of their lives," said Sebastian Coe, the chairman of London 2012.

"With the Village now handed over we are starting the huge process to install essential facilities and services ready to welcome competitors from around the world in six months' time."

The ODA started work on the Village in June 2008 and has now completed the construction of 2,818 new apartments on time, although the landscaping work is not due to be completed until the spring.

The construction of the Village has provided work 16,500 people, part of more than 46,000 who have worked on the Olympic Park and Village during construction

"The Olympic Village has been built by companies from every part of the UK, working together to ensure it was completed on time and overcoming the challenges posed by the credit crunch and economic downturn," said John Armitt, the chairman of the ODA.

"The apartments are ready but our work is not quite done.

"We will be finishing the landscaping as winter turns into spring, and then returning after the Games to complete the transformation to create new homes for Londoners."

After the Games, the Village will create a legacy of 2,818 new homes across 11 individually designed plots in a new community to be known as East Village. 

Of the homes in the Village, 1,379 have been purchased by joint venture Triathlon Homes to provide high-quality affordable housing.

The remaining 1,439 properties will become private housing after being acquired by a consortium of UK developer Delancey and the Qatari Diar real estate investment company.

The consortium has also secured six adjacent future development plots with the potential for 2,000 more homes.

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