West Ham expected to be named preferred bidders for Olympic Stadium

19:30 04 December 2012

A preferred bidder is to be announced for the Olympic Stadium tomorrow. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

A preferred bidder is to be announced for the Olympic Stadium tomorrow. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

PA Wire/Press Association Images

West Ham are expected to be chosen as the preferred bidders to occupy the Olympic Stadium tomorrow.

Talks on securing a deal that would allow West Ham to be named as the preferred bidders are expected to continue right until the start of tomorrow’s meeting of the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) board.

Senior sources on the board have told the Press Association they remain very hopeful that an agreement will be reached that covers a funding gap of around £20million.

Discussions have been taking place today between the government, the London mayor’s office, LLDC chiefs and the club to try to come up with a plan agreeable to all.

If West Ham are named as preferred bidders it will be a major step towards the club becoming the stadium’s tenants.

Preferred bidder status will not involve the signing of any contracts but will put the club in the driving seat to securing a new home under a 99-year lease.

The funding gap for converting the stadium into a football ground with retractable seating over the running track has been narrowed from £40million to around £20million after West Ham and Newham Council agreed to put in more money.

There have been efforts to secure the final outstanding cash with approaches to the Treasury and the London mayor’s office.

Even so, the total cost will be at least £160m and one potential sticking point is who would underwrite any possible increases in construction costs.

The Hammers are one of four bidders hoping to be chosen as the new anchor tenant for the Olympic Stadium, which has cost £486m so far and has been vacant since hosting the closing ceremony to the Paralympics at the start of September.

The Premier League club are competing against League One side Leyton Orient, a football business college and a group keen to bring Formula One racing to the Olympic Park.

West Ham’s latest offer is believed to be a £15m up front contribution, a £5million improvement on the original offer, as well as rent of £2.5m a year and £6m-a-year income for the LLDC from revenue from stadium naming rights and catering.

The LLDC confirmed this month that the stadium will not re-open until 2015 at the earliest and possibly the summer of 2016 - which would be two years later than expected.

The delay was branded “a farce” by UK Athletics chairman Ed Warner - his organisation had planned events such as Diamond League meetings, trials and school competitions from 2014 and is hosting the 2017 world championships.

Warner said three weeks ago: “All of the legacy use was scheduled to start in two years’ time and now it might be four years’ time which strikes me as ludicrous and to be a paralysis of decision-making which I hope the mayor 1/8Boris Johnson 3/8 is going to cut through.

“I wouldn’t say this is a Whitehall farce but this is fast becoming a Stratford farce.”

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London news

Monday, April 27, 2015
There are severe delays on the Victoria Line

There were ‘swarms’ of police at Victoria Station today after a person was reported on the track.

Monday, April 27, 2015

A 34-year-old has been charged with murder after a man was stabbed to death in Leyton over the weekend.

Monday, April 27, 2015
Amy Winehouse performing at V Festival  (Photo by Simone Joyner/Getty Images)

Amy Winehouse’s family has criticised a documentary about her life.

Monday, April 27, 2015
A Docklands Light Railway train passes in front of skyscrapers in Canary Wharf (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

Workers on London’s Docklands Light Railway are to be balloted for strikes in two separate disputes over pay and conditions.

Friday, April 24, 2015
Fire in High Street, Edgware

Four fire engines have been called to attend a huge fire on the High Street in Edgware.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

We have censored part of this image

Keith Fraser, the UKIP prospective parliamentary candidate for Hackney North and Stoke Newington has apologised after retweeting an Islamophobic cartoon which looks similar to Charlie Hebdo’s depictions of the Prophet yesterday morning.