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'Family day out' vision for Olympic venues

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A new London Assembly report has called for the Olympic Park venues to be promoted as a "family day out", with joint tickets and additional attractions to boost the local economy.

Park Life has been produced by the Economy, Culture and Sport (ECS) committee and focuses on the legacy of facilities such as the Velopark and the Handball Arena.

The report also investigated the future of the Aquatics Centre and the Eton Manor hockey and tennis centre after the 2012 Games.

It has been recommended the four facilities are marketed as a single destination that is open to the public for at least 80 per cent of the time.

Both the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) and Lee Valley Regional Park Authority (LVRPA) have been urged to develop joint ticketing schemes by the committee.

Meanwhile, both organisations have also been asked to look into the development of a series of "complementary visitor attractions" sited near the four venues as part of the experience.

ECS committee chair Dee Doocey said: "Getting people through the doors is key to the long-term viability of the Olympic Park venues.

"That means promoting the area as a single destination with a range of things to do - a place where visitors can not only go swimming, but also have lunch, visit an exhibition and do a bit of shopping all in one place."

Earlier this year, an ECS committee meeting heard from the LVRPA chief executive, Shaun Dawson, who told members that Munich's Olympic Park had operated successfully since the 1972 Games.

Despite the 2005 relocation of Bayern Munich football club to a stadium elsewhere in the German city, Dawson said the introduction of a Sea Life Centre had reinvigorated the site.

"[Munich] bought on board Sea Life Centre [the aquarium brand owned by Merlin Entertainments] and that has been a roaring success. It's added another dimension and that was driven by Bayern Munich moving out," he said.

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A new London Assembly report has called for the Olympic Park venues to be promoted as a "family day out", with joint tickets and additional attractions to boost the local economy.
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