Officials to be grilled over Olympic Stadium deal collapse
Olympic Park Legacy Company officials to face questioning over the future of the Olympic Stadium
London Assembly members will cross-examine top officials from the Olympic Park Legacy Company next week after the collapse of West Ham’s deal to take over the London 2012 stadium.
Under-fire chairwoman Baroness Margaret Ford and OPLC chief executive Andrew Altman will be grilled at City Hall and will be expected to answer why – despite their promises – that the long-term future of the £500m showpiece venue is still not known less than 300 days from the Games.
West Ham and Newham Council were awarded the stadium earlier this year but beaten bidder Tottenham Hotspur have only recent dropped their threat to take the decision to a judicial review, while an anonymous complaint about the process was also made to the European Commission.
The stadium, which is expected to cost £5m a year to run, will now remain in public ownership and the OPLC will try and find a range of tenants willing to pay rental on its use, who are expected to include West Ham.
The estimated £50m cost of converting the venue from its Games time capacity of 80,000 to 60,000, will now be drawn from OPLC fund.
“Five years after London won the bid and we seem to be back to square one, with no agreement on who will take over the stadium after the Games,” said Dee Doocey, the head of the London Assembly’s economy, culture and sport committee.
“The collapse of the West Ham deal risks significant delay and potential cost. We want to know what went wrong and what the consequences will be for the OPLC – and ultimately – the taxpayer.”