Multi-million pound development project underway at Olympic white water centre
Thursday, 21 February 2013
February 21- Work has begun on the £6.3 million ($9.6 million/€7.3 million) development project of the Lee Valley White Water Centre, which was used for the London 2012 Olympics.
The project will see facilities improved and expanded to cater for more participants and spectators, as well as upgraded facilities for the centre, providing a permanent base for the British Canoe Union (BCU).
The key points of the development project, to be funded by Lee Valley Regional Park Authority and the BCU among others, are: the creation of a state-of-the-art gym facility and physiotherapy centre, meeting rooms and offices for the BCU, more changing rooms, additional car parking and toilet facilities, an outdoor classroom and a new pavilion overlooking the course.
"Lee Valley White Water Centre has already proved hugely popular; it was the only brand new venue to be opened to the public before the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the first to re-open afterwards," said Lee Valley Regional Park Authority chief executive Shaun Dawson.
"We have listened to feedback from customers and the improvement work will enhance the experience for visitors to this world class venue.
"Many people have been inspired by Team GB's success at Lee Valley White Water Centre to get involved in paddle sports and this development work will give even more people the chance to participate, cementing the Olympic legacy of this venue.
"The expansion of facilities and the addition of an outdoor classroom will increase the accessibility of the venue for local communities, participants and sports clubs and provide even more opportunities for the next generation of athletes."
Canoe Slalom programme manager at GB Canoeing, Andy Maddock, said: "This development starting is the final stage of a long held ambition for a white water centre in the South East.
"This will allow the legacy of the Games to have a long term impact and inspire the next generation of athletes."
The arena- where Great Britain's Tim Bailie and Etienne Stott won gold at London 2012 in the Canoe Slalom event- will remain open for canoeing, kayaking and rafting throughout the duration of the improvements, which are scheduled for completion by early 2014.
July 2011: Lee Valley White Water Centre "ticks all the boxes", says London 2012 sports chief
June 2011: London 2012 white water rafting centre is the best I've seen, says Hoey
April 2011: Tom Degun - Down the rapids on the brand new London 2012 course
April 2011: London 2012 venue chosen to host World Championships
March 2011: Lee Valley submits bid for 2015 Canoe Slalom World Championships