View from the council: Stadium investment still reaps rewards
PUBLISHED: 08:00 10 December 2017
Newham Cll PR
The 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games shone a spotlight on east London and kick-started regeneration.
Newham Council always wanted to ensure the legacy lasted beyond the Games. Newham fought the original decision to convert the stadium into an athletics-only venue, we wanted a world class, vibrant and multi-purpose arena. After our joint bid with West Ham United to convert the stadium was rejected by the former Mayor of London Boris Johnson, in 2011 the council unanimously agreed to invest.
Without this investment it would have been left barren like many Olympic venues. Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park has attracted millions of visitors, a new school and health centre and Westfield has employed 4,610 residents through Workplace. It enabled West Ham United to move grounds and the old Boleyn site is now being redeveloped, including 211 affordable homes owned by Newham Council.
The council hoped for a financial return from the stadium but this will now not happen. Contracts negotiated by the previous Mayor Boris Johnson mean the stadium’s finances are not currently sustainable.
As a result, Newham Council and the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, have agreed that the Greater London Authority will take full ownership of the stadium, while Newham Council retains its community benefits for the next 100 years. Gains from Newham’s investment far exceed the amount invested. Regeneration and financial benefits to Newham over the next 25 years are estimated in excess of £70 million.