West Ham announced as anchor tenant for Olympic Stadium
West Ham United Football Club has today been announced as the long-term anchor tenant of the Olympic Stadium, in what has been branded as a "momentous milestone" for the Stratford site.
The Premier League club, currently based at Upton Park, was announced as the stadium's preferred bidder last year.
This morning, Mayor of London Boris Johnson alongside Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales confirmed the team had secured year-round use of the iconic 2012 Olympics venue in a 99-year concession, with the first ball to be kicked in the 2016-2017 season.
And Mr Johnson said the deal was "defying the gloomsters who predicted this landmark would become a dusty relic."
"With a series of world class entertainment and sporting fixtures already in the bag for the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park this iconic site is set to be the glittering centrepiece of ambitious regeneration plans for east London, which will capitalise on the olympic investment into this area for the long term benefit of the city."
Work will now begin to transform the stadium into a UEFA Category Four venue with 54,000 seats, in addition to a new roof, corporate areas, toilets, concessions and retractable seating.
As well as the funds provided by the London Legacy Development Corporation for the adaptation works, West Ham will contribute £15million, with Newham Council investing a further £40million.
The Government will provide additional support of up to £25million if required.
Hundreds of new jobs are expected to be created on-site, while it is hoped an influx of visitors to the local area will prompt further economic investment and growth.
The sale of Upton Park could also provide regeneration opportunities.
Sir Robin said: "Our investment of £40million secures that legacy by transforming the Olympic Stadium into a world-class attraction and the beating heart of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
"This will provide us with a share of the profits generated over the long term and a range of community benefits for Newham residents.
"It will enable us to support residents into jobs in such an inspirational place, provide tickets to the Stadium as a reward for those who put something back into our community, and fire the ambition of Newham children as they cross the same finishing line as their sporting heroes. "
Karren Brady, vice chairman of West Ham, added: "I'm delighted that we have been confirmed today as the anchor concessionaire for the Olympic Stadium. I commend my two Chairmen for their passion and commitment.
"I am delighted this has been rewarded now that their ambition to see the Club they love enjoy a bright future at the iconic Olympic Stadium has been realised."