What's next for the London 2012 Olympic venues?

Billions of pounds have been spent on staging London 2012, but now the scaling down begins, reports Jonathan Brown

Jonathan Brown
Monday 13 August 2012 18:28

Aquatic Centre

Zaha Hadid's critically acclaimed pool complex became the showcase for Michael Phelps and the US swimming team, who dominated proceedings. After the Games, capacity will be reduced and the £269m venue will be operated by Greenwich Leisure Limited – a charitable social enterprise – providing facilities for community and schools as well as elite athletes, replacing the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre.


More than 1,000 tonnes of steel and 20,000 square metres of recyclable plastic went into making the building – one of the largest temporary structures ever erected for the Olympics. Ambitious plans to reuse the £43m venue in Rio have been shelved and is it unlikely to be used in Glasgow at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.


Home to some of the most exciting action of the Games, 14,000 cubic meters of excavated soil from the Olympic Park site were used to build the track. Following the closing ceremony, temporary seating will be removed and the track reconfigured as part of the Lee Valley VeloPark – a multidisciplinary cycling hub.

Box Hill

The National Trust owned chalk down with its zigzag climb was thronged with spectators during Team GB's ill-fated assault on the cycling road race title. The site was already drawing thousands of wannabe Lycra-clad Olympians prior to the Games with more expected in its aftermath when the hill will be restored to its previous condition – including the return of the speed bumps.

Copper Box

Home to handball and pentathlon events, and goalball in the Paralympics, the 7,000 seat stadium, which cost £43m, will be the only indoor arena to be retained after the Games. It will be a multi-sport arena, fitness club and home to basketball side the London Lions.


The Docklands' combat sport venue will revert to hosting exhibitions.

Eton Dorney

The Eton College lake will return to use by the school, clubs and athletes.

Greenwich Park

Equestrian arena and cross country jumps to be removed.

Hadleigh Farm

Mountain biking track overlooking the Thames Estuary on a Salvation Army farm will be toned down by Essex County Council to make the 450 acre facility more accessible for wider use. Cost £800,000.

Horse Guards

Temporary arena will be dismantled and the 5,000 tonnes of sand from the volleyball beaches will be used to build 36 new courts within the M25 in a bid to promote the sport ahead of Rio.

Lee Valley White Water Centre

The 300 metre Olympic-standard course, 160 metre intermediate/training course and 10,000 square metre lake will be a world class venue for water sports. The £31m site will host the 2015 Canoe Slalom World Championships.

Olympic Park

The 2.5 square kilometre site will reopen in summer 2013 as the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The £3bn scheme is at the centre of the east London regeneration effort and will include 8,000 homes, a university, a commercial hub, a children's playground and sporting facilities.


The failure to secure a permanent tenant for the £486m Olympic Stadium has been a major hiccup in Locog's legacy aims. Earlier efforts ended in High Court recriminations involving West Ham, Tottenham Hotspur and Leyton Orient. Athletics was to be at its core – a promise originally made by Lord Coe during the bid – and the running track will remain. Mayor Boris Johnson took the venue into public ownership and it will host the 2015 IAAF World Championships. Meanwhile a new bidding process is under way. A football tenant, almost certainly West Ham, remains the most probable outcome despite a late challenge from Formula 1 and an application to use the pared-back venue for a sports business university.

Riverbank Arena

The £19m pink and blue so-called "Smurf-turf" hockey courts will be scaled down to 3,000 seat arena and relocated north of the Olympic Park to Eton Manor where it will become part of a base for international events.


The £93m stage for Team GB's domination of cycling will form part of Lee Valley VeloPark along with BMX, mountain and road cycle facilities. Manchester's velodrome will be HQ of British cycling.


With its inflatable roof and silver coloured wrap, the arena is one of the Game's most recognisable buildings. It is the first dedicated Olympic water polo venue and was built from recycled cushions. It is planned to be reused or relocated. Even the foundations will be unscrewed and redeployed.

Royal Artillery Barracks

The £18m temporary venue will be relocated.


Sculptor Anish Kapoor's £19m soaring helter skelter will remain a permanent tourist attraction in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Britain's largest item of public art was largely financed by steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal.

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