Sporting stars to join London 2012 anniversary celebrations at Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park

A major investment conference and celebratory dinner featuring a line-up of sporting superstars will be taking place in Sheffield this year to mark the 10th anniversary of London 2012.

By Angela Furniss
Tuesday, 5th April 2022, 2:35 pm
Updated Tuesday, 5th April 2022, 2:35 pm

Organisers say the events will showcase the “transformational economic, health, sporting and environmental legacies” being delivered by Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park.

The park was set up after the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games to deliver improvements in health and wellbeing. It is the only Legacy Park outside an Olympic host city and has attracted over £100m of private and public investment over the last seven years.

It is bringing together expertise from academia, elite sport, the NHS, and public and private sector organisations, and creating a unique group of life sciences assets including research centres, business incubators, educational facilities and laboratories for collaborative research and innovation in health and wellbeing.

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Richard Caborn, Chair of Legacy Park Ltd.

Legacy Park Ltd chair and former sports minister Richard Caborn, who was a key figure in bringing the Games to London in 2012, said: “If Sheffield had been a country in 2012 it would have come 14th in the medal table through the athletes we developed and trained in the English Institute of Sport Sheffield and we have not stopped there.

“We are building and developing in the north of England one of the country’s foremost Life Sciences Parks and with the backing of the city’s anchor institutions delivering, like no other, the Olympic Legacy the country promised.”

A Levelling Up in Action conference at Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park in the autumn will focus on how mixed-use innovation sites across the country are helping to develop the ‘six capitals’ of the Levelling Up White Paper agenda. It is expected to attract leading regional, national and international economic, political and business figures.

And an Olympic Legacy in Action gala dinner will take place at the English Institute of Sport Sheffield (EISS) on September 9 with guests including a host of well-known sporting names from the last decade.

Sheffield's new Olympic Legacy Park in Attercliffe on the site of the former Don Valley Stadium. A new community stadium is set to open next month which will become the home of Sheffield Eagles rugby league football team.

The event will celebrate Sheffield’s contribution to the Olympics and Paralympics, and the sporting legacy of the 2012 Games being created in the city.

Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park will also host a three-day Olympic Legacy in Action community weekend from June 17-19 with city groups providing a variety of free sport, health and wellbeing taster sessions.

The weekend is being organised with Yorkshire Sport Foundation and Sheffield City Trust and will form part of Sheffield’s annual Move More Month.

Mr Caborn said: “We have brought sports science and medicine, sports psychology and engineering together to create a unique legacy unrivalled anywhere in the world and I don’t think it could have happened anywhere else but Sheffield.

“From the start we brought together a partnership of public and private sector organisations with a clear vision of what we wanted to achieve – an agenda of change which we are delivering day after day, and which puts health at the heart of both economic growth and social mobility.”

2022 marks the start of the next phase at Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park with development partners, Scarborough Group International (SGI), unveiling plana for approximately 850,000 sq ft of commercial space across an 80-acre zone.

The plan includes a 120,000 sq ft innovation centre to support start-up and scale-up businesses in the health, wellbeing, sport and activity sectors and will create up to 5,600 high-value jobs.

The first SGI development – a new Community Stadium – is due for completion next month and will see the return of Sheffield Eagles Rugby League Club to Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park.

Another of Sheffield’s professional sporting clubs, the B. Braun Sheffield Sharks, will also return to the Park in a new Community Arena which is due to start construction soon.

The arena will also house Canon Medical Systems’ new diagnostic imaging lab and AI research centre for product development that promises to transform the speed and accuracy of diagnostics for the NHS and healthcare industry.

Funding has now been secured to ensure work will start this year on a world-first National Centre for Child Health Technology at the Park. This will develop technologies to address key national strategic priorities in child health including childhood obesity, child and adolescent mental health, cancer, disabilities, long term conditions and prevention.

The £26m flagship development will bring together and accelerate the development and commercialisation of innovative child health technologies which will improve health outcomes for generations to come.

Mr Caborn added: “2022 will be a year of transformational delivery at the park which will see the completion of the first £100m investment phase and the start of the next £150m forward investment masterplan from our partners at SGI.

“This hot-housing of health and wellbeing skills and innovation with elite and community sport – which not only drives economic growth and community regeneration but also delivers whole population health gains – is a model attracting national and global interest and investment.”