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Delayed: Olympic Stadium not to re-open for up to four years

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Populous’ London 2012 Olympic stadium may have to wait another four years before re-opening to the public

According to Dennis Hone, chief executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation, the iconic structure may not be ready for use until August 2015 at the earliest and possibly August 2016 if West Ham football club is selected as occupier.

He told the London Assembly’s Budget and Performance Committee the legacy corporation was currently exploring various design options to convert the stadium to meet the specifications of its four bidders.

The stadium’s four bidders are West Ham United, Leyton Orient, Intelligent Transport Services in conjunction with F1 and a bid from the UCFB College of Football Business.

Chair of the committee, assembly member John Biggs said: ‘It’s disappointing to hear of more delay to the Olympic Stadium legacy. Regardless of who gets the stadium, a huge amount of work will need to be done before it can reopen to the public.

‘Over the next three or four years, the LLDC will have to face that extra cost while coping with lost rent and lower visitor numbers on the Olympic Park.’

He added: ‘In the longer-term, questions remain about who will pay for improvements to the Park and whether the LLDC has access to the kind of sums needed to pay for new infrastructure – like schools and health centres - without raiding the public purse.’

The first part of the park is planned to open to the public by July next year with the remaining area set to be unlocked by April 2014.

 

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