Olympic Park To Re-Open In Eight Months
Tuesday 27th November 2012
The £292m transformation of the Olympic Park is underway - with just 8 months before it re-opens.
The shell of the thousands of temporary seats at the Aquatics Centre has been stripped away, with up to 1,000 constructors will work on the site in Stratford.
One of them is PJ Spence from Waltham Forest, who was in jail during the Olympic Games following last year's London riots. He's now one of 300 apprentices working at the site.
He told LBC 97.3: "I came out of jail four months ago. I did one year in jail and I had a lot of thinking time - I thought I can't be doing this any more.
"They got me to do two weeks training and that two weeks changed my whole perspective of life. I couldn't wait to get up in the mornings to go to work. It's changed my whole life."
The London Legacy Development Corporation has now taken over developing the Park and Executive Director of Regeneration & Community Paul Brickell has told LBC 97.3 it's all about giving local people local jobs. He said: "We've got 300 now, 40% of those are East Londoners and 15% are those who were previously unemployed. So we're very committed to that.
"The thing I'm particularly excited about is the Apprenticeship Programme, which starts today. Getting young East Londoners into the construction programme here
The Handball Arena, known as the Copperbox, will be used for local sports or events from July 2013, before the first residents of the former Athletes Village move into the redeveloped homes next summer.