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Wellcome remains silent over rival Athletes' Village deal

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The Wellcome Trust has refused to comment on speculation that its plans to take over the Olympic Park after next year’s Games are under threat from a Qatari-backed consortium

The government is assessing an estimated £1 billion offer from the UK-based charity to take over all the freehold assets of the park.

However the future of the offer now looks uncertain as it emerged that ministers have entered into negotiations with Delancey and Qatari Diar over the sale of the 2,800-home Athletes Village.

Earlier this month, the health science charity Wellcome Trustappointed PLP Architecture as part of a team to work on a bid for the freehold ownership of the entire Olympic Park in east London. That bid was conditional on Wellcome also being handed the Athletes Village.

Wellcome today reiterated that it its offer is based on the village tender. A spokeswoman said: ‘We don’t want to comment on speculation. Our proposal for the park very much depends on the bid for the village.

‘Logistically, it is very difficult to assess a timeframe for the decision at the moment as we are in parliamentary recess.’

ODA chairman John Armitt said the single disposal of the remainder of the park was a theoretical possibility. ‘But you have to recognise that these assets are public assets and there is clearly a question mark as to whether disposal of a very public asset would be fair,’ he said.

It has been suggested however that if a successful deal is made with Delancey and Qatari Diar for the village then that consortium and other parties could be asked if they are interested in purchasing the wider park, reported the Financial Times.

Delancey said in a statement: ‘Delancey has not been and will not be entering into wider discussions in respect of the wider Olympic Park; this would be a matter for the Olympic Park Legacy Company and would involve a competition under government procurement rules.’

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