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Operators sought for Olympic pools and multi-use arena

10 February 2011

Aquatic Centre under construction

The Olympic Park Legacy Company is seeking formal expressions of interest (EOI) for organisations to operate the Aquatics Centre and the Multi-Use Arena at the Olympic Park after the Olympic Games.

The Aquatics Centre will have two 50m pools and a diving pool, together with permanent seating for 2,500 people, which can be extended to 3,500. It is expected to attract up to 800,000 people a year. The Multi-Use Arena will be the third largest arena in London, providing a range of sporting, entertainment, cultural, community and business events. Some of its 7,500 seats are retractable to extend the field of play. There is also the potential for a health and fitness centre.
The operators will be appointed by January 2012 so they can work with the building’s Games-time operations and manage their post-Games fit-out. It is anticipated that the contracts will run for ten years.
Organisations will also have the opportunity to bid for contracts to maintain the future Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the Estates and Facilities Management Services including park maintenance, horticultural, waste management and security have also been issued for expressions of interest.
Commenting on the news, Andrew Altman, Chief Executive of the Olympic Park Legacy Company, said  “The Aquatics Centre and the Multi-Use Arena will be core to the future Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, with families, community groups and athletes taking part in sport and entertainment events under the same roof. They will be real community assets and we are looking for the right operators who can bring people together and improve health, education and lifelong participation in sport.”
Interested parties have until Wednesday 23rd March 2011 to make a formal bid for the venues by completing a Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) and until Wednesday March 2nd 2011 to make a formal bid on the Estates and Facilities Management Services.
A Memorandum of Information (MOI) is available with the PQQ to help formulate bids. This provides background on the venues and contracts and outlines the Legacy Company’s ambition for the future Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
The Multi-Use Arena is expected to reopen in 2013. The building is covered with over 3,000 sq m of external copper cladding, using copper with a high recycled content to give it a distinctive appearance that will develop a rich natural colour over time. It has over 700 sq m of glazing on the concourse level enabling visitors to view what is taking place inside, and 88 ceiling light pipes to feed natural light into the venue.
The Zaha Hadid-designed Aquatics Centre is expected to reopen in January 2014 and will be one of the lasting images from the London 2012 Games with its wave-shaped roof. The pools are fitted with moveable floors and the venue lends itself to host a range of community and elite activities such as family-friendly changing facilities and a dry diving facility.
The venue operators will be expected to promote sports development with the National Governing Bodies of Sport, educational establishments and local boroughs; contribute to improving health, education and lifelong participation in sport; support the establishment of sports clubs and academies; and provide a venue that is physically accessible for disabled people and others.
Plans for the Aquatics Centre and the Multi-Use Arena form part of the Legacy Company’s ambition for the future Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to become a major destination – a new part of London which will include new housing, schools, health centres and offices, along with the running of venues such as the Stadium, the ArcelorMittal Orbit, Lee Valley VeloPark, Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, and the Press and Broadcast Centres.

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