Advertisement

Londoners could foot the £200m bill to cover loss-making deals at the former Olympic stadium

Londoners could face a bill for £200m to cover loss-making deals at the former Olympic stadium unless a rescue plan can be drawn up, it emerged today.

Bosses at the Mayor's London Legacy Development Corporation admitted they have no idea when the stadium might break even, describing it as an 'aspiration'.

The full scale of the financial crisis at the showpiece venue became clear as officials were questioned by London Assembly members.

The stadium, revamped at a cost of £323m is leased to West Ham football club for just £2.5m a year. The deal involves council tax payers picking up the tab for stewards during the football season.

Credit: PA

Another contract for athletics is also a drain on the public purse. The cost of moving retractable seats for this year's World Athletics Championships hit a staggering £8m.

The LLDC said specialist engineers were reviewing the procedure and hoped to cut the cost in half next Summer.

For next Summer's athletics we've looked at a different configuration where we don't have to move the seats all the way back.

We can do partial changes to the stands and it dramatically reduces the cost. On match days we're looking at reducing the cost of stewarding.

– DAVID GOLDSTONE, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, LONDON LEGACY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION

A potentially lucrative deal to sell naming rights was put on hold after the Mayor ordered a review of the stadium finances.

The LLDC, the Quango established to develop the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, currently receives an annual subsidy from City Hall in excess of £20m.

We haven't put a time frame on when we would reach a point when it might break even because it is a very long term plan.

– DAVID GOLDSTONE, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, LONDON LEGACY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION