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A top construction firm has won £154million to transform the Olympic Stadium into a multi-use venue and future home of the Hammers, creating hundreds of jobs.

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Balfour Beatty Group will lead construction of the warm-up track, spectator and hospitality facilities, and external landscaping having already converted the stadium’s roof last summer.

The group expects to employ up to 400 people, with apprenticeships making up to seven per cent of the workforce, and will work with the council to employ local people “where possible,” said a spokesman.

Newham mayor Sir Robin Wales said the 80,000-seater venue was “inspirational”, adding: “This is a major step forward in ensuring the Stadium in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park offers a lasting community legacy of jobs, education and grassroots sport.

“The conversion work will mean it continues to be a world class visitor attraction that is good for the residents of Newham, London and the nation as a whole,” said Balfour Beatty chief executive Andrew McNaughton.

Newham Council and the London Legacy Development Corporation awarded the contract on Monday, January 6, through their E20 Stadium Partnership which was set up to manage the multi-million pound stadium.

Works are due to begin early this year using sustainable construction methods and are set for completion in the spring of 2016.

“During construction, our firm commitment to the use of local labour and the creation of apprenticeships will continue to benefit the local community and the wider industry

The now iconic landmark is set to become the home of West Ham United Football Club in 2016 and is expected to be ready to host five matches when the Rugby World Cup comes to England next year.

As well as becoming the new national competition stadium for UK athletics it also be used for cultural and community events with locals also able to benefit from a nearby community athletics track funded by a London Marathon Trust.

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