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Old November 18th, 2010, 09:59 PM   #1981
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Old November 19th, 2010, 06:27 PM   #1982
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Germany choose to spend 2012 Olympics at Docklands museum



An agreement has been reached for the first ‘nation house’ to host an Olympic team during the 2012 London Games. The Museum of Docklands has signed a deal with the Germany Olympic Committee to provide VIP hospitality and meeting facilities for their guests.

They will range from medal-winning athletes and key Olympic figures to political, cultural and business big-wigs.

The West India Quay building, which dates back to the early 19th century, will also become the German press facility and media lounge.

Professor Jack Lohman, Director of the Museum of London, said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome the first Olympic house to the Olympic boroughs.

“This partnership will bring lasting benefits to the Museum of London Docklands, including upgrades to the building, international links with Stories of the World – the London 2012 cultural festival for young people, and relationship-building with German businesses.

“As a publicly funded organisation, these benefits are both extremely valuable and timely.”

The museum, which tells the story of the emergence of London’s Docks from Roman times to the present day, will stay open throughout the Olympics. The listed Georgian warehouse, built to store sugar from the West India, has seen a major increase in visitor numbers since becoming free to enter earlier this year.
http://www.docklands24.co.uk/news/ge...useum_1_731441
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Old November 20th, 2010, 01:26 PM   #1983
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From David Anthony Fearn on flickr:

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Old November 20th, 2010, 04:38 PM   #1984
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From Frans Zwart on Flickr
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Old November 20th, 2010, 05:38 PM   #1985
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The interior of the stadiums looks very spacious, it's the perfect setting for an impressive opening ceremony.
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Old November 22nd, 2010, 01:56 PM   #1986
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IOC Congratulates London 2012 Following Three-Day Inspection

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Coordination Commission for the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games ended its seventh visit to the city Friday, following three days of meetings with London 2012 representatives and its partners.

The commission, led by Chairman Denis Oswald, visited several venues including Wembley Arena, Earls Court, Hadleigh Farm, the Royal Artillery Barracks and the new velodrome being built in the Olympic Park.

Oswald said, "we can see the pieces of the puzzle falling into place now, and the big picture is rapidly visible. Preparations are advancing at an astonishing rate and LOCOG, the ODA, and their partners should be congratulated for the high quality of the work they are producing across this complex project. The continued support of the British government for the Games has also been key to the progress made since our last visit, and they should be thanked for the efforts that they have made in these challenging times. This underlines the British people's strong connection to sport and to the Olympic Games in particular".

The commission also received updates on the London 2012 volunteer program and ticketing prices in recent months, and welcomed LOCOG's plans to ensure that families of athletes participating at the 2012 Games will be able to secure tickets to events featuring these athletes.

However London organizers refused to back down Friday on their decision to change the Olympic marathon route, but said they may have found a solution to restore a multimillion-dollar fabric wrap around the main stadium for the 2012 Games, reports The Associated Press.

Sebastian Coe, head of London 2012, said potential sponsors have offered to pay for the more than half-mile long stadium wrap that was scrapped last month to save $11 million as part of government budget cuts in Britain. He said, "since the decision was made, we have had a number of commercial overtures to fund the wrap..." But sponsors won't be able to brand the wrap with its name or logo since venue advertising is banned at the Olympics.

As for changing the Olympic marathon route, Coe said he made the decision for "operational reasons" to avoid traffic congestion on what will be one of the busiest days of the Olympics.
http://www.gamesbids.com/eng/other_news/1216135435.html
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Old November 23rd, 2010, 01:04 AM   #1987
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Old November 23rd, 2010, 01:07 AM   #1988
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London Calling - Olympics Technology

-- Link to New Electronics article --

As London prepares itself for the 2012 Games, a number of programmes have been set up to provide UK athletes with access to the latest in training technology. UK Sport, a Government body which invests around £100million a year in the World Class Performance Programme, supports 1400 athletes across 24 Olympic and 20 Paralympic sports.


Then there is the Elite Sport Performance Research in Training with Pervasive Sensing (ESPRIT) project, led by Imperial College London in partnership with UK Sport and supported by Queen Mary University of London and Loughborough University. Researchers from the three universities are working alongside British sports via UK Sport's Research and Innovation programme.

Not surprisingly, much of the research is clouded in secrecy, partly to give British athletes a competitive advantage, but also because the technology often draws from classified defence applications.

Dr Scott Drawer, UK Sport's head of research and innovation and co-chair of ESPRIT. explained: "We cover a wide range of development programmes, from equipment related solutions – bike design for example – through to measurement and sensor technologies. Many of the solutions are coaching tools, providing real time diagnostics."

UK Sport has a number of partners, including BAE Systems, which is providing £1.5million of its engineering time and access to more than 18,000 UK based engineers and scientists. UK Sport Technology Partnership project manager at BAE Systems, Owen Evans, explained: "In their normal day jobs, the designers would spend their time developing submarines, aircraft carriers or jet fighters. Under this partnership, they can turn their hands to leveraging technology and expertise from the defence sector and transfer it to the sports industry. The goal is to create performance enhancing equipment which will make people go faster and win medals."

One such device is a performance monitoring system installed by BAE at the Manchester Velodrome to give British cyclists an edge in training. The laser timing technology, derived from a battle space identification system, provides a new approach to monitoring cyclists. According to Evans, it improves on traditional photoelectric break beam systems which are unable to differentiate between individual athletes. Now, up to 30 cyclists can train simultaneously as the laser can read a personalised code from a retro reflective tag attached to each bike. Installed at multiple points around the track, the system gives individual recordings for each cyclist with what Evans describes as 'millisecond accuracy'.

Meanwhile, ESPRIT researchers have designed a range of miniaturised wearable and track side sensors, computer modelling tools and smart training devices to help improve British athletes' performance. The miniature wearable sensors monitor different aspects of athletes' physiological performance, in order to monitor and optimise training for competitive performance. The sensors include wireless wearable nodes to measure biochemical information, heart rate, EEG, ECG, muscle activity, joint speed and contact forces. Athletes can then use this information to understand how they are progressing with their training.
The team is also developing small track side sensors, for detailed monitoring of an athlete's body movements and location, and interactions between a team during training.

Dr Drawer observed: "Much of the research is really about fuel based diagnostics – not just evaluating how fast an athlete can go, but understanding the underlining physiology behind training. For example, non invasive sensors can track what's taking place in the blood, without the need to take blood. So many of the technologies can equally be transferred to the medical sector – and we're also looking at remote healthcare. Olympic level sports provide a good model to test and develop technologies which can move into society at a later stage."
One such sensor, developed at Imperial College London, is inspired by the semicircular canals of the inner ear responsible for controlling motion and balance.

Resembling a hearing aid, the sensor fits behind the ear and gathers large amounts of data about posture, step frequency, acceleration and response to shock waves travelling through the body as an athlete's feet hit the ground.
A miniature processor inside the earpiece collects data and transmits it wirelessly to a laptop so the athlete's performance can be monitored at the trackside in real time. This process allows a coach to detect problems such as incorrect posture at the start of a run, and rectify them.

The constant stream of real time information flowing from these sensors means medical staff could use the technology to monitor the elderly and people living with chronic diseases – like degenerative arthritis or Parkinson's disease –
without the patient needing to visit their doctor.

Many commercially available technologies to monitor athletes' performance are often large, unsuitable for use in the field or able to measure only one aspect of an athlete's or team's performance. Consequently, the data collected is not realistic enough for sports scientists and coaches to understand how athletes are performing in a training or competition environment.

To address this, the ESPRIT team is developing wireless 'pervasive' sensing technologies that extract continuous information under normal training and competition environments. This provides coaches with more accurate and regular feedback about their athlete's performance than is currently possible.
The researchers have also created prototype networks of miniature video camera sensors, called Vision Sensor Networks, which coaches can use to monitor an athlete's movements and assess their strategies while training.

"Inertial sensors can also be used on boats alongside gps sensors to record how fast an athlete is moving and what's happening with the joints," Drawer added. "The systems can also be used in canoeing, rowing, sailing and cycling. Another key training tool is a wind tunnel."

Wind tunnels have proved to be particularly successful for wheelchair athletes and BAE Systems has run a series of tests at Airbus' dedicated facility in Filton.
Shelly Woods, a Paralympic silver and bronze medallist in Beijing, and David Weir, a Paralympic Games multimedallist, recently spent a full day testing in the Airbus wind tunnel.

Computational fluid dynamics data gathered from the wind tunnel sessions were used by UK Sport to review the aerodynamic efficiency of the athletes' seating position in the chair to highlight the optimal racing position for different situations on the track.

The tests were the first phase of a project to help wheelchair athletes improve their performance with the support of technology. Another aspect of the project, which is set to run until 2011, will be to examine the overall design of the chair to see where improvements could be made. The assessment will encompass factors affecting performance, from the material the chair is made from, right down to the ease with which it can be stored, set up and maintained.

"The whole premise of getting athletes behind the wind tunnel is to try and reduce drag and is a major application in all sports where people are travelling very fast," explained Evans. "An athlete and a wheelchair has an effect on the aerodynamics, so we needed to make them as streamlined as possible. We were looking at the equipment they were using – at the chair itself – but most importantly, the athlete's positioning and movement, so we could quickly and easily do a large number of experiments and provide a very accurate model of the most streamline and efficient position to be in."

Sensors recorded force measurements and, from those readings, the most efficient position could be established. "In wind tunnels, data can be collected in real time so we can collate information quickly and do a large number of experiments."

The technology originates from BAE's Military Air Solutions (MAS) business unit at Woolton where all the UK's jet fighters are built. "Normally, we would have a section of wing, a nose cone or a tail and we'd conduct exactly the same kind of experiments to get the most aerodynamically streamline profile of the equipment."

According to Dr Drawer, development programmes for Paralympic athletes are plagued by restrictions, rules and regulations that have to be adhered to. "Many of the restrictions are based around ergonomics because disabilities vary tremendously," he said. "The key question is 'how do we make that wheelchair better for that particular athlete?'. The platforms we have developed are equally valid for other extreme environments, especially the sensors which have proved to be robust and reliable, so the technology is transferable."

Systems and engineering technology provider Frazer-Nash is also working with UK Sport to help wheelchair athletes improve their performance. Working alongside former Paralympian Dr Ian Thompson and Angle Consulting, the team has developed an instrumented wheel for measuring the power exerted when pushing a racing wheelchair.

The 'Powerwheel' measures the driving force put into the push rim by the athlete, then measures data using a load sensing element and transmits it wirelessly to a mini-computer. The data is interpreted, displayed and stored on the computer, enabling the athlete and coaches to analyse the information and build a profile of the push, showing how power and speed is developed.

For the project, strain gauge technology was attached to lightweight interface elements between the push rim and the wheel. The gauges were connected into a wireless transmission system and multiple locations were selected to derive the desirable athlete performance characteristics through the wheel push rim. To minimise technical risk and reduce development time cycles, Frazer-Nash used off the shelf electronic processing systems and the information could be live streamed and data logged, depending on the specific need of an athlete. The data could then be streamed to a wheelchair mounted minicomputer or directly to a pc or laptop.

Frazer-Nash also developed bespoke software packages to allow simple configuration, display and detailed analysis of the data.

Custom software designed by BAE has enabled the British Sailing team to make crucial assessments of local weather patterns and plan the fastest and most competitive route. The innovation, known as Project DRAKE, applies predictive mathematical modelling currently used in autonomous technologies to give access to data such as wind speed and wind direction.

Key to the technology, adds Evans, is its user friendliness; a lot of time was spent collaborating with the team to design an interface that provided a clear communication of weather patterns. "We knew we had to get the look and feel of the software just right. The DRAKE technologies were originally developed as part of a programme to create innovative command and control capabilities and apply them to a wide range of BAE Systems products including warships and unmanned air vehicles."

And beyond London 2012? Dr Drawer concluded: "Ultimately, we're driven by performance and giving athletes the best opportunity to be a success. Beyond that, these technologies will benefit society.

"High performance sport can play a massive role in developing a fundamental model for science, medicine and engineering. Athletes push themselves to the extreme, so it's an interesting model to base our development platform against."
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Old November 25th, 2010, 06:43 PM   #1989
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Major Operation To Test 2012 Olympic Security

-- Link to Sky News article --

Security services are preparing to stage a major nationwide operation simulating a terrorist attack or emergency incident at the London 2012 Olympics. The exercise is part of a series of tests to evaluate Britain's security preparations for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Speaking at a conference in central London, Security Minister Baroness Pauline Neville-Jones outlined the plan to "run exercises to test our procedures in a range of scenarios including counter terrorism. The next six months will be crucial."

The first nationally co-ordinated simulated emergency will take place within the next year, with further similar exercises to follow. The operations mark a shift in Britain’s 2012 security strategy, which will move from the planning to the operational phase within the coming months.

While the plans evolve, the number one security priority remains the same - the threat of a terrorist attack. Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Chris Allison said unless "there was an outbreak of World peace between now and the Games" the threat level will remain at 'severe'. However he said security bosses had to plan for the possibility of that level being raised to 'critical'.

Security chiefs were meeting at an annual conference at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) in central London. While all agreed they were happy with preparations for London 2012 so far, they acknowledged more has to be done to tackle cyber threats. During the Beijing Games in 2008, the authorities had to fight off 12 million cyber attacks every day.

Baroness Neville-Jones admitted cyber attacks were one of the most serious threats to the Games, saying: "We…need to do more on cyber." However the concern was principally with regards ticketing fraud, rather than terrorism. There was also recognition of the current financial constraints, and the expense of securing an Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The current budget stands at £600m, but this figure is under review, and the revised budget will be published in the next few weeks. Baroness Neville-Jones said that while she was "in no doubt that efficiency savings can and should be made, we will not countenance unacceptable levels of risk and this will be reflected in the funding".
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Old November 26th, 2010, 10:52 PM   #1990
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London 2012: Inside the Olympic Park

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Old November 28th, 2010, 11:48 PM   #1991
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Velodrome

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Old December 1st, 2010, 01:32 AM   #1992
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LONDON 2012: Beckham gives seal of approval to Olympic Park


GUIDED TOUR: Locog chairman Seb Coe gives David Beckham a special viewing of the London 2012 Olympic Park - but this week's World Cup wasn't far from both men's thoughts

Beckham travelled to Singapore as part of the capital's bid team delegation in 2005 and was the star turn during the handover ceremony at the Beijing Olympics.

He has also hinted that he wants to make himself available as one of Great Britain's three over-age players for the football tournament, which will be staged at venues across the UK.

"I think the Olympic Park is incredible and I am delighted that I have been involved from the very beginning," said Beckham. "The area I know so well is being transformed, the amazing dream is becoming a reality and I have seen first-hand how much hard work has gone into the project. This is great for the East End and for sport."

The LA Galaxy midfielder and former England captain was given a guided tour by London 2012 chairman Seb Coe - who will turn his attentions from Olympic business to helping England land the 2018 World Cup this week.

"David has been, and continues to be, an integral part of the London 2012 family, playing a key role in the bid and being part of our handover show in Beijing," said Coe. "I was delighted to be able to show him around the site, which of course is in a part of London he knows well. His belief and support is well known and he was thrilled to see the progress being made."

Beckham will also reprise the role he played for London 2012 in Zurich, mounting a charm offensive as Fifa's embattled executive committee prepare to cast their votes for the hosts of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup.

"Hopefully I will make a difference," he said. "A lot of people have been working hard for the bid and we need tell those people voting about why we feel it is the right thing for us to get the World Cup."
http://www.morethanthegames.co.uk/fo...l-olympic-park
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 07:49 PM   #1993
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Old December 4th, 2010, 04:26 PM   #1994
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Old December 5th, 2010, 04:53 AM   #1995
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Old December 6th, 2010, 10:23 PM   #1996
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Aquatics Centre

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Old December 7th, 2010, 08:23 PM   #1997
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Three million to enjoy Olympics arts spectacular

More than three million people are expected to attend what will be the biggest arts celebration ever held in Britain — the London 2012 Festival.


Big name: Cate Blanchett will be among the stars of the festival

Today Cate Blanchett, Jude Law, Damon Albarn and Lucian Freud were unveiled as some of the stars of the event — the culmination of the four-year Cultural Olympiad promised when the UK won the Olympics. The festival, which sceptics had believed would never get off the ground, will feature 1,000 events — some free — including art, pop, fashion, comedy, food, theatre, film and dance.

It will open on June 21 — Midsummer's Day — and run until the Paralympics ends on September 9. In London, Blanchett will star in Martin Crimp's adaptation of German classic Big And Small, by Botho Strauss.

Law will host a Peace One Day concert in Derry, and Damon Albarn is following up his opera Monkey with a new work for the Manchester International Festival, which will then come to English National Opera. Art exhibitions include Freud at the National Portrait Gallery and David Hockney at the Royal Academy. Hockney sent today's launch a painting created on his iPad with the message: “See you in 2012.”


Big leap forward: prima ballerina Tamara Rojo joins street dancers at the Royal Opera House today to launch the London 2012 Festival which will feature 1,000 events

There will also be commissions from Rachel Whiteread, Olafur Eliasson and Martin Creed. There are short films by Mike Leigh and the StreetDance 3D team, and concerts for more than 500,000 people at landmarks along the Thames. Simon Armitage leads a Southbank Centre poetry Olympics, a new work will be staged at Theatre Royal Stratford East, and international stars such as Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison join the fun.


Art with a message: David Hockney’s iPad work to mark the launch

Many events, including bookings for pop, fashion and comedy, are still to be announced. First tickets go on sale in October.

Olympiad director Ruth Mackenzie said the aim was to “offer something exceptional, to create something new”, adding: “It's very hard to live up to the once-in-a-lifetime occasion of getting the Olympics in your own country but that is the challenge.” Law said he was immensely proud to be working on the Londonderry concert, which would be a launchpad “for a wonderful cultural feast”. The event will promote a global day of peace.

About 11 million people have already taken part in events and projects as part of the Olympiad.
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standa...spectacular.do
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Old December 7th, 2010, 11:53 PM   #1998
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I can't wait for the best Olympics ever...

London: The most heterogeneous city in the world that homogenizes that diversity making easily almost to anyone feel as a londoner.

It's very easy to fall in love with London, hope to be there by 2012.
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Old December 10th, 2010, 05:55 PM   #1999
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Boom for homeowners as fans plan for London 2012 Olympics

International interest is already flooding in for people wanting places to rent during the 2012 London Olympics. Property experts predict a two-bedroom home close to Olympic venues could be leased out for as much as £2,000 a week when the biggest sporting event on the planet comes to town.

HomeAway Holiday-Rentals UK general manager Tim Boughton said eight of the world’s top 10 desirable spots during the summer of 2012 are London boroughs.

And Greenwich, which will host the equestrian event as well as a host of sports at the North Greenwich Arena (The O2), is the most requested site in the world for the duration of the Olympic Games. “It is definitely not too early to be thinking about this,” said Mr Boughton. “At the moment it’s around £780 a week to rent a two-bedroom property in Greenwich. During the Olympics you’re looking at £1,800 or even higher.

“There is a great opportunity there for people willing to do the basics to rent out a property and we’re seeing strong demand already. Some people will be torn between renting out their property and staying for the Olympics, but with the money you can make you can buy the best tickets for the biggest events.”

Mr Boughton, whose company has more than 500 London homes on the books, said the experience of homeowners in South Africa was that international fans were willing to pay high prices to stay within 30 minutes of an Olympic venue. There have even been enquiries from film crews looking to base themselves in particular prime properties for the duration of the Games.

But he warned people looking to make a quick profit still had to consider their customers and any mortgage or rental agreements they have to honour.

“Visitors will be looking for a genuine experience and to live like a Londoner. You’re still providing a service. You also have to consider simple things like securing your valuable possessions and making sure you’re covered by insurance.”
http://www.docklands24.co.uk/news/bo...mpics_1_750691
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Old December 12th, 2010, 04:22 PM   #2000
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London Olympics 2012: the real gold could be in property

The London Olympics' association with gold could stretch to more than just the medals that will hang around the neck of athletes. Increasingly it is also the value of the area surrounding the Olympic village that could win gold. When Westfield, the Australian property company, agreed to sell a 50pc stake in its new Stratford City shopping centre last month it raised £871.5m – the highest price ever paid for a piece of retail property in the UK.

The prospect of creating a lasting legacy from the Olympics has attracted many doubters, but this deal, struck with the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Dutch investor APG, shows the willingness of the private sector to invest in the area, and the price they are willing to pay.

Robert-Jan Foortse, APG's head of European non-listed property investments, said: "We believe that with its size and location Westfield Stratford City will over time become one of the UK's best shopping centres." Despite the Games being 18 months away and the global economy still being gripped by uncertainty there is other significant private sector interest in investing in Stratford.

More than 40 formal expressions of interest are understood to have been received from companies looking to take control of the Olympic media and broadcast centres after 2012. Interest has come from potential office occupiers but also cultural groups. It is believed that some companies based at Canary Wharf are eyeing the buildings as a base for back office functions.

This level of interest is a boost to the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC). Especially given the concerns about the location of the centres, they are 20 minutes walk from Stratford station, and their large size, the Press Centre offers 312,000 sq ft of office space and the Broadcast Centre 667,000 sq ft.

Also, the Olympic Delivery Authority has received proposals from property companies and sovereign wealth funds keen to acquire the Olympic Village, which includes 1,439 private homes and the opportunity to develop up to 2,500 more.

A shortlist of names is expected to be announced next spring and Grainger, the UK's largest listed residential property owner, is thought to have expressed an interest. Andrew Cunningham, chief executive, said: "It is fairly obvious that this is the sort of thing Grainger would be interested in. It offers development, estate management, rental and sales angles."

CBRE, the property agent, has compiled a report on investor activity in East London. The company, an advisor to the OPLC, identifies plans by Lend Lease and London & Continental Rail for 4m sq ft of commercial space in Stratford, and the acquisition by Inter Ikea, the investment arm of the furniture retailer, of a 13-acre site at Sugar House Lane, next to the Olympic Park.

The Ikea deal will see the Swedish company develop 1,500 homes – designed in the style of its furniture.

Its housing business has been successful in Sweden, often supporting Ikea stores, but remains low-key in the UK. So, why has it chosen to invest in Stratford? "They see the growth potential," Matthew Black, senior Central London development director at CBRE says. "With the investment in the area because of the Olympics, Stratford becomes really an expansion of Central London."

Ikea is understood to have described its deal as a "magic site", with the area enclosed by newly-refurbished canals. "Five years ago those canals would have been redundant and full of trolleys," Black adds. "And this is absolutely the point. If the Olympics weren't coming you would see large, contaminated, polluted land and redundant buildings."

Stratford, with its link to London and the South East, has long been identified as a potential regeneration hub. However, it has been held back by fragmented land ownership and contamination. The Olympic investment has not just brought prestige to the area, but infrastructure and investment in the land.

The CBRE report states: "The Olympics will provide a boost to Stratford as well as other parts of London but their greatest legacy will be the land that was assembled to host the Games thereby changing the landscape of East London." The committed public funds and fixed end date of 2012 has also meant investment in Stratford has survived the recession. CBRE claims East London has "emerged from the recession in a much better state that the rest of Greater London".

Because of 2012, the neighbouring Westfield scheme has continued despite other schemes in the UK halting construction. Black says Westfield's commitment has been "very important" in attracting private sector investment. The scheme will cover 1.9m sq ft, making it the biggest urban shopping centre in Europe.

Westfield's investment has been the private sector backbone in the ambitious legacy plans for the Olympic Park, which include 8,000 new homes across five neighbourhoods alongside commercial offices and the sporting venues. For the legacy proposals to succeed, more businesses and residents must be attracted to the area. It is therefore encouraging that investment is not just already arriving, but at record levels and from surprising sources.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/l...-property.html
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