Monday, 22 December 2008

Arena Fields - Where's my Legacy Dude?!

Pic: London 2012

Remember when the whole of Hackney Wick got so very excited about the Legacy for Arena Fields?! We thought the International Press Centre & Media Centre were going to be built in Arena Fields.

This in turn would convert into a fantastic venue for some massive Media Company to base themselves. BBC, NBC even MTV were whispered about.

Then came along the Credit Crunch!!

So what next? Is there anything we Wickers can do? Does anyone have any connections in the Media world that you could have a chat to? Anyone on first name terms with Bill Gates?

Let's all discuss this serious problem on this site. Surely with all the creativity bouncing around The Wick - we should have some answers to this horrible predicament the international bankers have put us in?!


Grant Spacey said...


The ODA is leading us all on a merry dance! There is going to be VERY little or ABSOLUTELY no legacy for us.

We were promised more jobs when the IPC/IMC was going to be built - it's been cancelled! We were promised a leisure pool alongside the Aquatics Centre - it's been cancelled! We were promised a huge handball court to be used a a community facility - it's been cancelled! We were promised a footbridge over the canals directly from The Wick into the Olympic Park - it's been cancelled!

The only thing we in Hackney Wick have to look forward to is huge congestion, massive dust clouds and humungous disruption for the next decade!!

Legacy? That was what got London the Olympic games awarded! Is there any for us here in Hackney Wick?


Grant Spacey

Mohammed said...


I think that part of the problem is that Hackney Council are not working hard enough trying to find anyone to take over the Media Centre after the games!!

They seem to be leaving it all up to the ODA to find the tenants, but Arena Fields is in Hackney, and so most of the responsibility is theirs!!


Scott said...

Hi Mohammed

Although Hackney Council have to pull their fingers out, there is no excusing the Olympic Delivery Authority.

The promises made to the IOC in order to get the games for London should be delivered upon NO MATTER WHAT the economic situation.

We are the residents who have to live with the loss of Arena Fields and a possible white elephant instead.

This is almost exclusively the fault of the ODA, and they have to find the money COME WHAT MAY!


Bev Johnson said...


I know it's not completely the ODA's fault, but we can't keep blaming the credit crunch for all the cock-ups with our suppossed legacy.

The LDA & ODA got the bid for London on the strength of the legacy to be left behind for local East Enders, and so they simply have to deliver on their promises, no matter the current financial climate.

Do you think that anyone is going to remember what a credit crunch was in ten years time? No!

But they WILL remember that the ODA/LDA shafted us Hackney Wickers, if Arena Fields is an indistrial estate or supermarket distribution centre!!

We were promised a media centre to rival Soho & White City, so that's what they MUST get on with building!!

Of course no media company is going to promise to move in right now, but after the games, when the recession has abated, these companies will be fighting over each other to move in.

John Armitt, build what you promised us, and deliver our legacy, and after the games you'll come out looking good.

Bev Johnson

Jack said...

God it makes me cry to see what the Olympics have done to Arena Fields!!

OK - so it was occasionally trashed by vandals, and fly-tipped on, but it was GREEN! The foxes, rabbits, wild cats, trillions of birds.......

Now look at that dust bowl!!

As to the legacy? Well......

I know it's supposed to be turned into a 'new town' - but I have a feeling that we are going to have a skanky industrial esate, with no one taking up units. Then it will be squatted by more car breakers yards just like Carpenters Road used to be.

These idiots at the ODA can't organise a party without throwing millions of pounds at it. Once the games are over, there will not be a single penny left over.

So guess what? Hackney Wick will lose out - YET AGAIN!


Eileen said...

Hi Sóna

In this great pic - the biggest bit of green to be seen - is the one in your Leabank Square green.

See if you can find another pic of what it used to look like before the wall went up - just so we have a bit of the historical context up here.


Alan said...

Hi Sóna
I've just seen the legacy plan, and from what I can make out, there are a couple of tower blocks in front of you guys along in Leabank Square.

It's so difficult to make it out, but there's definetly no playing fields opposite you.

I feel like knocking on their bloody door upstairs & asking them whats going on. We were all promised that some of the original Arena Fields would be given back along the canal, opposite Gainsborough school, for the kids to do nature projects, play games, have races, take lunch - again.

It seems as though the men in suits want money in return for their 'hard work' stealing Arena Fields and turning it into a sports meet for a few weeks.

Please don't let them wear you down mate, and even though we're in Tower Hamlets - Fish Island is still Hackney Wicks ugly sister - don't forget that!!

Daisy said...

I'm sorry - but I can't make out what's happening to Arena Fields form the official site.
At the meeting last month, we saw the artists impression of the press centre opposite us (Wick Village), so I'm not expectingtoo much more, but I still want to walk my dogs along the canal and onto the playing fields next to the canal.
Does anyone know what's happened to them?

Salim said...

Hi Sóna

I saw on your site that the playing fileds you people were supposed to have returned to opposite Leabank Square - have been moved behind some housing.

Is this allowed? Are they allowed to simply change the plans just like that?

I know we live on the Trowbridge, but we were looking forward to having picnics where your orchard used to be again!

Please can you let me know at next weeks meeting. Thanks.


Suzie said...

We here at the Lion Works Community Association have agreed to wholeheartedly support your opposition to this new planning application.

There is no way that the whole of the River Lea must have development all the way along the tow-path. There must be spaces to sit & relax along the river, spaces to picnic, throw a frisbee, train a dog, kick a ball, have a festival, build a community!

What is the point of having a tow-path if there is nowhere to sit & enjoy the view for a couple of hours?

Please sign us up!

jimmy said...

Do you still do all that secret stuff with the Hackney Wick Partnership? If so, please could you raise the playing field with them?

I'm not too sure if this is the right forum, but we need any friends at the moment right now, don't we?

I know we're a lost cause cos we've got the media centre directly opposite us, but we still NEED that bit of green to be right alongside the canal.

Remember when we all used to stop over at the orchard you guys planted opposite Leabank Square? Well, we are still going to need that pit stop there in order to rest the dogs, kids, old folks, cyclists - hell, even MY legs by then!

At least mention it to the folks at the HWP please.

matt said...

Hi Sóna
The way they've set out this legacy website is so confusing?

I can't work out what's in a planning application, what's an aspiration, what's official, what's a pipe dream?

Surely Hackney Council will never give permission for this all to go ahead? Or do the ODA have more power & weight than Hackney Council?

Could you please try & find out whta is going to happen in the first few years after the games rather than what They wish to happen at the turn of the next millenium?