Wellcome Trust in ‘�1bn bid’ for Olympic Park

The Wellcome Trust has tabled a �1 billion bid to buy the freehold of the Olympic Park, it is understood.

The healthcare charity, which has a �14.5bn property portfolio, has already put forward proposals to take over the Athletes Village after the 2012 Games.

It is believed the deal would allow the Olympic Park Legacy Company to return immediately the �675 million it owes to the National Lottery, central government and Greater London Authority.

It had previously been envisaged the sum would be repaid over the next 20 years as the park develops.

Trust bosses have confirmed they are considering a more extensive bid, but have refused to confirm reports they have put in an offer for the freehold on the park.

Any such deal would include the majority of the 2012 site, including the Olympic Stadium, aquatic centre and media centre.

It is not known if it would affect the deal struck with West Ham United and Newham Council to move in to the stadium from 2014.

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A Trust spokesman said: “The Wellcome Trust has been shortlisted by the Olympic Delivery Authority to submit a proposal for the purchase and long term management of the residential properties known as the Athletes Village.

“In exploring this opportunity further, we are giving detailed consideration as to how we may also become investors in the wider Olympic Park and optimise the legacy of the Olympics.

“To this end we are currently meeting with a broad range of stakeholders to explore this opportunity further.”

A formal tender process would have to be carried out before any bid for the Olympic Park could be given the go-ahead.