Mayor of Hackney discusses Olympic legacy in final speech
In his final speech as Mayor of Hackney, Jules Pipe spoke about the impact of the Olympic legacy in Hackney and the need to ensure the economic success that the Games helped to create is felt by all those living in the host boroughs.
Speaking at the Centre for London’s conference, Rising In The East – Shaping The Future Of East London, held in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on 27 July, Mayor Pipe said: “The 2012 experience was one of the highlights of my time as Mayor of Hackney. The securing of the economic legacy will remain for me, and for Hackney Council, one of our proudest achievements.”
He went on to speak about the legacy already achieved, from the development of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and mass participation sports events like Run Hackney, to improved transport links.
Referring to the development of Here East, which was built to house the International Press and Broadcast media during the Games, Mayor Pipe said: “It seems almost unbelievable now that, in our fight to secure the legacy, we encountered so much prejudice against east London from the mainstream media and the political establishment; we met so many people who found the very idea of a creative, media and digital hub in a location like this almost laughable…[but] these buildings were always the key to a transformative economic legacy for this part of east London.
“The site has the potential to create up to 7,000 local jobs, onsite and in supply chains. For us in Hackney, that was always the most important thing that the 2012 legacy could provide.”
He closed by highlighting the work left to do: “The legacy of 2012 will not be achieved if our communities are left behind by the economic success that the Games helped to create. The mission that I will take from here to City Hall, and the challenge I leave in Hackney for my successor, is that we must continue to strive to make this a legacy for all east London; one which benefits people from all backgrounds, which provides those life changing opportunities for the people that need them most. Local authorities like Hackney must continue to work with businesses on the Park to open up entry level jobs, paid internships, work experience, training, meaningful careers in creative industries for children from working class backgrounds who maybe don’t have the contacts or the confidence to make those things happen by themselves.
“That legacy from 2012 will only be complete when its effects have reached the people and communities who most need it, when we can be sure that the local children who greeted the Olympic Torch have better life chances, better jobs and better health than their parents before them. That task will last for many years to come, and as a city we must ensure that we do not lose sight of it.”
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