West Ham Olympic Stadium deal: Taxpayer to fund cleaners, undersoil heating and turnstile operators

 
Joe Hall
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An artist's impression of West Ham fans flocking to the Olympic Stadium

Taxpayers will foot the bill for services at the Olympic Stadium after Premier League club West Ham make it their new home from next season.

The publicly-funded London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) will be paying for a number of staff including medical staff, cleaners, turnstile operators and stewards, it has been confirmed.

West Ham have a 99-year lease on the arena originally built for the London 2012 Olympics, but many aspects of the deal - including how much rent West Ham will pay annually - have not been made public.

Read more: Where's the transparency in West Ham stadium deal?

Last month the information commissioner ruled the full details of the contract between the LLDC and West Ham should be made public, but the LLDC has appealed the ruling, arguing it would reveal commercially sensitive information.

The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park planning authority has released a copy of the contract with less redacted information, revealing that the LLDC will pay for a number of services including some catering staff, undersoil heating and floodlighting, the stadium tannoy and drug testing facilities.

However, the LLDC deny that the deal will come at a cost to the taxpayer as it will contribute to increased revenue and regeneration in the wider area in the long term.

A spokesperson said:

Once the transformation of the stadium is complete it will not require continuous subsidy from the taxpayer and will see a return to the taxpayer through future profits due to the agreements in place with the operator Vinci and concessionaires West Ham United and UK Athletics.

The stadium will contribute to the ongoing and hugely successful regeneration programme already being delivered at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

West Ham, who insist they negotiated the best deal for the taxpayer, are paying just £15m of the £272m transformation costs to ready the stadium for football, with £25m coming from national government and £40m from the local borough of Newham.

Although exact figures have not been disclosed, it is also known that West Ham will pay a different amount based on where they finish in the league and how they perform in cup or European competition.

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