March 10 - Morrison Construction have been awarded the contract to build the £30 million white water canoe slalom course for the 2012 Olympics in Broxbourne, it was announced today.
Work on venue is due to start in June and be completed ahead of 2012 and will deliver an early legacy of community use and training facilities for all abilities before the Games.
After the Games, the venue will be developed to become a sporting and leisure facility for canoeing and white-water rafting, as well as a major competition venue for elite events.
The Centre will be owned, funded and managed by Lee Valley Regional Park Authority (LVRPA), who own the site which is part of the River Lee Country Park.
John Armitt, the chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority, said: "Securing a leading contractor for Broxbourne is an important step towards delivering first-class facilities for the world’s best athletes in 2012 and leaving the lasting legacy of a major leisure attraction for many years to come."
Sebastian Coe, the chairman of London 2012, said: “This is an important stage in the delivery of a facility that will provide a world class venue for Games time and an excellent facility for elite athlete and community usage after the Games, living up to our promise of leaving a lasting legacy for sport.
"The constructors must now develop a challenging Olympic course and develop a community facility which will provide a new experience for beginners."
Shaun Dawson, the chief executive of LVRPA, said: “This is the only brand new Olympic venue which will open to the public before the Games and will be a world class attraction in legacy which will appeal to a huge variety of people from London, Essex and Hertfordshire.
"As well as being a centre for elite canoeists, we will be running sports development programmes, be providing extensive community use plus a first-rate white water rafting experience – all 40 minutes from central London."
The Centre will be built on what is currently the overflow car park for the showground site of the River Lee Country Park, between Waltham Cross and Theobalds Grove stations.
The construction includes a 300 metre Olympic-standard canoe venue, a warm-up course and finish lake, placement and compaction of fill to form the course embankments and landscaped features of the venue, construction of a new facility building, containing reception, café, changing rooms, admin offices, spectator viewing facilities, storage, and water pump/filtration plant and landscaping works with path and bridge networks throughout the venue to facilitate spectator viewing and access.
Richard Ellis, the chairman of the East of England Development Agency (EEDA) who are helping fund the venue, said: “It is great news that we have progressed this East of England-based project to this key stage.
"When complete this will be a world-class venue for Olympic competition.
"It will also be a fantastic canoeing centre for people of all ages and abilities, international-class athletes, amateur sports people and recreational beginners alike, to enjoy for generations to come.
"EEDA has worked hard and consistently with its partners on this project to ensure that a lasting legacy is secured, the benefits of which will be a major boost for local communities and businesses in the region for years to come.”
Charles Johnston, Sport England’s Property Director, said: “Broxbourne is unique among the new 2012 venues because it will benefit thousands of community paddlers long before the world’s best athletes arrive.
"After the Games, the centre will become home to a club offering paddlers, including those with a disability, high quality sporting opportunities from beginner to elite level.”
Paul Owen, chief executive of the British Canoe Union (BCU), said: “The announcement of securing a contractor sees the development of a first class white water course, becoming a reality.
"The permanent, white water facility will provide canoeists and other users an exceptional experience beyond London 2012.
"Our GB canoe slalom team are certainly eager to get on the course as soon as possible.