London 2012 has signed a deal marking its official payback to the East End borough which controversially missed out on staging the Olympic marathons.
The Olympic organisers rubber-stamped an agreement pledging to help work with Tower Hamlets to increase employment, business, education and culture in the inner-city area.
This deal was a reason why the council dropped legal proceedings against London 2012 to return the marathon back to east London. The council sought a judicial review in November.
The agreement, announced by London 2012 chairman Lord Coe and Tower Hamlets mayor Lutfur Rahman at a local school, seeks to maximise the benefits to residents and businesses from the staging of the London 2012 Games.
A full-time council employee is being seconded to London 2012. They will work together to identify up to 1,000 vacancies that Tower Hamlets’ residents will be given access to 72 hours before they enter the wider employment market.
They will also try to ensure that youngsters and schools in Tower Hamlets get a chance to become involved in a range of occasions, from test events and ceremony rehearsals to the Ticketshare scheme.
Rahman said: “We’re 100% behind London 2012, and want to make sure that our residents gain the maximum benefit from the Games.
“They will have to put up with a lot of the disruption that comes with hosting the biggest sporting event on earth, so it’s only fair that they get to share in the experience and reap the rewards.
“We’ve been working with the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (London 2012) to develop the opportunities for residents and businesses within the borough, and will continue to do so to ensure that Tower Hamlets and east London gains lasting benefits from the Games.”
London 2012 said it switched the marathon finish from the Olympic Stadium in east London to the Mall in central London for operational reasons including security, clashes with other events, and traffic congestion.
Approval from the International Olympic Committee and the IAAF was received.
A special event to mark the London arrival of the Olympic torch relay is also planned, London 2012 said.