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London unveils 2012 site masterplan

Written by: Staff

LONDON, June 7 (Reuters) Organisers of the London 2012 Games unveiled their masterplan for the Olympic site today, revealing minor changes and details of how the facilities will be used once the Games have finished.

The organisers said it was the first time the plans for an Olympic site had been combined with proposals for a ''post-Games legacy'' at such an early stage.

''We are delighted that we are setting new standards and benchmarks for delivering the IOC's vision of a sustainable legacy -- not after the Games have ended, but right now,'' London chairman Sebastian Coe said in a statement.

''Six years out from hosting the Games, we have a compact and exciting site for the Games that works for the community after the Games have closed.'' In their bid to win the right to host the Olympics, the London organisers had promised a Games with a lasting legacy for the area in the east end of London.

Since winning the bid in July last year, the London team have also been keen to show that they have not wasted any time in preparing for the Games after Athens, hosts of the 2004 Olympics, were criticised for not being ready in time.

As part of the minor changes, the volleyball will be moved out of the park and across town to the Earls Court centre in west London which will allow for more space for athlete training facilities.

The media centre within the park will provide room for some 20,000 journalists during the Games and will be used as a business centre once they have finished. Several of the facilities including the paralympic tennis and archery venues will form a sports centre for the local community.

''We are determined to ensure that legacy is at the heart of everything we do, whether it is delivering world class stadia or providing grassroots facilities designed to benefit the whole community,'' Olympics minister Tessa Jowell said.

The masterplan has been approved by the International Olympic Committee and the relevant sporting governing bodies.

Reuters DH RS1715

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