The increasing cost of transforming the London Stadium has been compared to Oliver Twist’s famous line “please sir, can I have some more” by a London Assembly member.
Gareth Bacon made the comment after the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) announced the cost of rebuilding the former Olympic Stadium had gone up by £51million since last year.
This meant that the £272million figure announced in 2015 has now increased to £323million.
During a meeting of the Budget Monitoring Sub-Committee , Mr Bacon said: “I am told the stadium is fabulous, but the point is that people are reading the information with the knowledge that this is a public asset funded by the taxpayer.
“But it is housing a Premier League football club. Rightly or wrongly they are seen to be extremely rich, yet West Ham’s contribution has been £15million, which isn’t a lot.
“And the way these costs have dribbled into the public domain creates an impresion that it’s more and more and more and more.
“It’s like Oliver Twist - please sir, can I have some more.”
LLDC chief executive David Goldstone explained the £51million increase had come from four areas:
- £21million on the seats
- £14million on other agreed improvements to make it more viable (including advertising screens)
- £12million on contingency
- £4million on insurance and other management costs
He explained the company that was originally hired to deliver the seats was unable to deliver on the contract, causing the £21million increase.
He said: “The issue with the contractor happened right before the rugby world cup so we were left with a partially installed system, so we had to step in and get it ready in time.
“It is an unfortunate thing that happened. We have tried to be transparent but I can see why people have reacted in the way they have.
“I think we have been as transparent as we can as we do have to balance the commercial sensitivity with being open to the public.”
Mr Goldstone assured the sub-committee that there will be no additions to the £323million figure as the stadium has now been completed.
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