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OLYMPIC REVIEW41Six years ago, when news broke of London'ssuccessful bid to host the 2012 OlympicGames, work immediately began on layingthe foundations for a legacy that would have a lastingimpact far beyond the Closing Ceremony on 12August 2012.The tangible benefits of that work are alreadyvisible around the UK - and in particular in the EastEnd of London, transforming what has been one ofEurope's most impoverished areas. After the Games,the infrastructure, environment, public amenities,transport links and job opportunities in east Londonwill have changed beyond recognition. There will alsobe a wealth of benefits available to the wider Londoncommunity, such as cross-city transportimprovements, as well as more training and jobopportunities for the UK, and the chance for a vastarray of businesses to be involved.The Olympic Park is the largest new urban park to be created in Europe for more than 150 years,while the Village itself - where athletes and officialswill stay during the Games - will be converted intohomes, many available for key workers such asteachers and nurses. Further housing will also be built on the Olympic Park site after the Games.World-class sports venues, such as the Lee ValleyWhite Water Centre will be, and already are in someinstances, used by sports clubs and the localcommunity as well as elite athletes. They will beadapted where necessary and new playing fields willbe created for community use. A range of transport improvements serving thePark are already underway, including an extension tothe Docklands Light Railway (DLR), increased capacityon the London Underground's Jubilee Line and theupgrade of Stratford Station. The communitiessurrounding the Park will enjoy access to the openspace via a network of canal towpaths, footpaths and cycleways. Thousands of new jobs will be created in the Parkalone. Job and training opportunities will be createdfor local people, and local residents will be engagedin the planning of the Games and the benefits thatthe project will bring afterwards. Staging the OlympicGames in 2012 has rapidly accelerated theregeneration of east London, delivering a massive £2 billion boost to the capital's economy, in additionto the wider jobs and skills legacy being deliveredthrough 2012 Games programmes, which are puttingmore than 25,000 people into new jobs. In addition,400 apprentices have been trained on the OlympicPark site, a further 40,000 training places have beenprovided and 50,000 people have received support to get back into work.Andrew Altman, Chief Executive of the OlympicPark Legacy Company, says: "The combination of theshopping centre and the Queen Elizabeth OlympicPark will generate an unprecedented number of ?OLYMPIC LEGACYLondon 2012