CHRISTIAN RADNEDGE REPORTS: The cost of transforming the 2012 Olympic Stadium for its post-Games life has risen to £272m, according to the London Legacy Development Corporation.
London’s centrepiece for the Games is to be turned into a multi-sport and entertainment venue but will be used primarily by Premier League football club West Ham United who move into the ground next year at the start of a 99-year lease.
When the deal was first announced, the transformation cost was quoted to be £154m.
However last year the LLDC admitted that figure would rise due to the difficulties that the contractor Balfour Beatty was experiencing with the world’s largest cantilevered roof and retractable seating.
The 21,000 moveable seating area is to cover the athletics track which is needed for the 2017 IAAF World Athletics Championships which will be hosted in the venue.
Despite the high costs involved – to which West Ham will only be liable for a £15m contribution on top of an annual £2.5m – the LLDC proudly boast that the arena will be “the only stadium in the UK to meet UEFA Category 4 classification and be a fully compliant IAAF Category 1 athletics facility.”
The stadium will also play host to five Rugby World Cup matches later this year. Total cost for the entirety of the stadium has thus risen to £701m.
However, it is very much a permanent fixture in London – part of the urban regeneration in the eastern sector which the government hopes will deliver over £3bn of economic benefit.