London Olympic Park Aquatics Centre to open

Aerial shot over Queen Elizabeth Park Image copyright LLDC
Image caption The park's landscaping has been created by the designer of New York's High Line
Olympic Park Image copyright LLDC
Image caption The Olympic Park has been opening in stages since 2012
South Park Image copyright LLDC
Image caption The park will also feature four walking trails for visitors to explore

The Aquatics Centre used in the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics is to reopen for the first time since the games.

The centre on the Olympic Park in Stratford, east London, will host a series of events and public swimming sessions from 1 March.

The London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) has also announced plans to reopen the southern section of the park on 5 April.

However visitors will not be able to access the Olympic Stadium until 2016.

The stadium, which will be the new home for West Ham United, is due to open in August 2016, although it will host five matches during the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

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Media captionThe BBC's John Maguire describes what visitors can expect to see when the Olympic Park reopens in April

From 5 April a stretch of landscaping from the south of the park's main entrance by the aquatics centre towards the north of the site up to the VeloPark will open to the public, the LLDC said.

LLDC chief executive Dennis Hone said the opening of the south of the park was "a huge moment in our vision to create a new heart of east London".

The 375.7ft (114.5m) ArcelorMittal Orbit tower, which has two viewing platforms, will also open in April with ticket prices announced later this month.

Since it reopened in July 2012, more than 100,000 people have visited the Copper Box Arena, which hosted handball, fencing and Paralympic goalball during the games.

Visitor ticket prices for the Aquatics Centre will start from £4.50 a session when it opens in March, according to the LLDC.

The centre, which has two 50m pools, a diving pool and a newly installed gym, will also host the 2014 Diving World Series.

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