The London 2012 Olympic bid team is close to securing post-games operating funds for a third major sports venue

The International Olympic Committee wants bidding cities to have post-2012 funding in place to avoid the risk of constructing unused white elephants. The London bid team has secured funds for the Olympic stadium itself and a basketball arena, where the London Marathon is underwriting post-2012 running costs to the tune of £300,000 a year.

Now, a third venue – a white water canoeing facility in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire – is “just a few months away” from securing similar funding, according to James Bulley, London 2012 director of infrastructure.

The Lea Valley Regional Park Authority is developing the canoeing centre on land it owns at Broxbourne, and has been working with the East of England Development Agency to find an investment partner. The park authority had been developing the plans for a facility before the Olympic bid was formally announced. It wants the development to include environmental enhancements, such as an otter reserve.

The London bid team is also looking for long-term uses for four temporary sporting arenas that would be constructed in the Olympic park and nearby north Greenwich if London secures the games.

The committee wants bid cities to have post-2012 funding in place to avoid the risk of constructing unused white elephants

The arenas will be designed so that up to 75% of the materials, such as the steelwork and pre-cast seating, could be used again. Bulley said the bid team would set up a special post-2012 committee to decide where the arenas would be sited. Regional centres, such as Manchester and Birmingham, could then bid to take over the arenas for major events.

  • The 2012 team has also been in talks with the Office of Government Commerce to ensure that the construction industry has the capacity to build the structures for the games. The OGC’s Kelly review is in the process of assessing supply and demand issues for the period to 2009.

Bulley said that he was convinced the industry had sufficient capacity.

He added: “The capacity of the construction industry in London is in fact greater than that of most previous host cities.”