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Olympic Legacy Park ‘post pandemic recovery model’

Posted: 24th June 2020

The Yorkshire & Humber AHSN welcomes the news that the Olympic Legacy Park could play a pivotal role in the recovery from COVID-19.

South Yorkshire’s Olympic Legacy Park, where health and wellbeing research, innovation and applied technology, help drive the development of economic growth and improved health, could steer the country’s post-COVID-19 economic and healthcare recovery.

The Park, which will cover over 1 million sq. ft. of real estate when complete, is proving a catalyst for investment and regeneration and an integral part of Sheffield City Region’s Strategic Economic Plan.

It is a model which Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park project lead and former Government Minister Richard Caborn believes could be a testbed for the country’s roadmap to a post-pandemic recovery.

“Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park is in effect a living laboratory which can be used to help the country through the post pandemic crisis,” said Mr Caborn. “We are amongst the pioneers of an economic and health revolution so needed right now, translating ideas and innovation into industrialisation and commercialisation.

Sheffield has the world’s only Olympic Legacy Park outside a host city. It was set up after the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games to deliver improvements in health and wellbeing for the whole population.

The Park is home to Sheffield Hallam University’s Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC), a global centre for research and innovation in physical activity. The AWRC is dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of the population through innovations that help people move. The Yorkshire and Humber AHSN works closely with the AWRC.

The AWRC is also home to a growing number of start-up and scale-up businesses who, through a Research England funded Wellbeing Accelerator programme, are being offered a unique, onsite pathway from innovation, through to research and development and then to market.

It is thought other developments on the Park in the future could also play a part in the recovery programme of the COVID-19 crisis. They include Sheffield Children’s Hospital’s Centre for Child Health Technology, and an Innovation and Enterprise Centre for start-up and scale-up businesses.

Mr Caborn added: “We have a strategy to move forward. We are at the heart of Sheffield’s and the UK’s post pandemic road to recovery. We believe we are ahead of the game. Our model is what the UK needs and has already attracted the interest of government.”

Richard Stubbs, Chief Executive of Yorkshire & Humber AHSN said: ”Working with the Olympic Legacy Park, I welcome the news that the Park could play a key role supporting the recovery out of COVID-19. The Olympic Legacy Park is a really important investment in the UK, both from a health and economic perspective.’’