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Olympic training centre opened by Lee Valley Regional Park Authority

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Culture secretary Tessa Jowell has officially opened the Lee Valley Athletics Centre in north London, which will act as one of the main training venues for athletes preparing for the 2012 Games.

The £16m facility is the largest indoor and outdoor athletics centre serving London and the south of England and houses the region’s only indoor 200m track.

The indoor centre comprises a 130m, six-lane sprint straight, permanent seating for 500 spectators, full jumps and throws facilities as well as amenities allowing sports science and medicine activities.

Outdoor facilities include a competition standard 400m track, throws and jump areas, permanent seating for 300 spectators and floodlighting.

Funding for the centre was provided by grants from Sport England (£7m), Lee Valley Regional Park Authority (£5m) and the DCMS (£4m).

Tessa Jowell said: “This will be a hub of training and support for those talented athletes aspiring for the podium in 2012, as well as inspire people of all ages to get out and take part in sport.”

The Lee Valley Regional Park Authority (LVRPA) – a statutory body responsible for developing the 26-mile Lee Valley Regional Park – will provide the long term operational funding and management of the centre.

Shaun Dawson, LVRPA’s chief executive, said: “The centre brings a world-class training facility to the Lee Valley, a major location for growth and regeneration which is at the heart of the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.

The centre was designed by David Morley Architects and has no lifts due to using sloped access routes – designed to cater for wheelchair sports events.

The new centre is located on the proposed site of the ill-fated Picketts Lock national athletics stadium, which never came to fruition.

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Culture secretary Tessa Jowell has officially opened the Lee Valley Athletics Centre in north London, which will act as one of the main training venues for athletes preparing for the 2012 Games.
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