Cameron and Clegg visit Hackney’s 2012 handball arena to celebrate its completion

David Cameron and Nick Clegg visited the 2012 handball arena on the fringes of Hackney Wick yesterday (Thursday) to mark its completion.

The Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister spoke apprentices and business leaders about their plans to tackle youth employment as the 6,500-capacity arena became the third venue in the Olympic Park to be finished.

Mr Cameron said: “That this great venue has been completed on time and within budget is testament to the hard work, expertise and skills of the Olympic Park workforce. We are on track to stage a fantastic Olympic and Paralympic Games in London next summer.”

Events to be staged at the venue - which is clad in copper and contains multicoloured seating - include the men’s and women’s preliminary stages and the women’s quarter finals for the handball competition, the fencing discipline of the modern pentathlon, and goalball during the Paralympic Games.

The handball arena will become a multi-use community centre after the Games, with seats for 7,500 spectators and facilities for athletics training and sports such as basketball, handball, and volleyball. A health and fitness club with changing facilities and a cafe are also planned.

Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) chairman John Armitt said: “The Handball Arena milestone is another example of just how far we have come since construction started on the Olympic Park three years ago. The arena is compact, sustainably built and will provide an excellent sports and community venue for London long after the Games are over.”