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Olympic Stadium conversion to cost public purse another £35million


Filed: Wednesday, 22nd October 2014
By: Staff Writer


The London Legacy Development Corporation has agreed to pay construction company Balfour Beatty an extra £35.9million to complete the conversion of the Olympic Stadium, it was announced this afternoon.

Earlier in the week it was revealed that Balfour Beatty had requested an additional £50million to finish the job, on top of the previously-agreed £154million cost. And it was confirmed today that following negotiations, the new figure to convert the stadium will be some £190million.

The arena, which will serve as West Ham United's new 54,000-capacity (rented) home from the beginning of the 2016/17 season originally cost £429million to build, taking the total cost to the public purse well above the £600million mark.

West Ham, upon moving two miles across the Borough of Newham from Upton Park to Stratford in 2016 will pay an annual rent of circa £2.5miliion, but all re-development costs will be met by the taxpayer - something that has caused a great deal of controversy since the decision to award primary use of the stadium to the Hammers was announced.

Although West Ham will not own the arena, possessing instead a 99-year lease, the club may decide - or heavily influence, at the very least - what else the stadium can be used for during the established football season.

That is why Tottenham's plans to use the Olympic Stadium on a temporary basis whilst their own home at White Hart Lane is being re-developed were vetoed recently.

"No one has asked us for our permission," said West Ham United vice-chair Karren Brady recently. "If they did, we would probably say no, depending on who it is Ė if you get my drift."



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