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London Stadium owners buy events firm in bid to get a grip on finances

PUBLISHED: 07:00 23 January 2019

The London Stadium (originally known as the Olympic Stadium), now home to West Ham United football club, at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, east London. Picture: STEFAN ROUSSEAU/PA

The London Stadium (originally known as the Olympic Stadium), now home to West Ham United football club, at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, east London. Picture: STEFAN ROUSSEAU/PA

PA Archive/PA Images

The owners of the London Stadium have bought the firm responsible for bringing in events in a bid to get a grip on its finances.

Lyn Garner, CEO of the London Legacy Development Corporation. Picture: In-Press Photography LtdLyn Garner, CEO of the London Legacy Development Corporation. Picture: In-Press Photography Ltd

London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) now owns LS185 which besides booking big name bands and sporting events oversees the day to day running of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park venue.

The move comes after LLDC bosses were grilled by London Assembly members over the stadium’s high running costs in December last year.

LLDC boss, Lyn Garner, said: “I made it clear to the London Assembly that we were taking action to make the most of this fantastic asset.

“The stadium is central to our Olympic legacy. We are making real progress in making it an even better stadium for those holding events, for the millions of visitors who come to it and for all Londoners.”

LS185 was set up by the French multinational Vinci after it won the bid to run the stadium on LLDC’s behalf after the 2012 Olympic Games.

Ms Garner, who admitted that relations between LLDC and West Ham United weren’t the best at the London Assembly meeting, said an agreement had also been reached about capacity at the ground although there were no further details.

Graham Gilmore, LS185 boss, said: “Today’s announcement allows us to build on the world-beating events we have been putting on at the London Stadium since the Olympic Games.”

Among events coming to the venue LS185 has lined up a Saracens rugby match, rock group Muse and Major League Baseball.

Sir Peter Hendy, LLDC chairman, said: “In the last year our team at LLDC have taken a real grip at the London Stadium.”

Gareth Bacon AM, chairman of the budget and performance committee, said: “We welcome the move to bring operations at the London Stadium in-house.

“The committee has questioned why the management structure was so elaborate. This is especially relevant when the LLDC is so reliant on the public purse.

“LS185 promised to run matchdays at a profit but could never live up to the hype and last year it cost the LLDC £3.5 million instead.

“We have stated repeatedly that the LLDC needed to get a firm grip on the legacy venues. This move is an example of a positive step in that direction.”

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