High price to pay for gyms to be added to Olympic aquatic centre after they were removed from the original design

The legacy body in charge of the redevelopment of the Olympic Park after the games could be forced to spend “tens of millions” adding gyms to Zaha Hadid’s aquatic centre to make it viable to a commercial operator.

The original £268m design by Hadid included space for health and fitness centres in the building, but these were removed by the games developer, the Olympic Delivery Authority, as part of its bid to cut costs and fit the centre on a tight island site.

While there is a small space in the 2,500-spectator centre for a limited health and fitness centre, a former Olympic source said adding significant gym facilities to the centre after the games could now cost “tens of millions of pounds.”

The Olympic Park Legacy Company this week asked for expressions of interest from commercial operators in running the venue.

However, Building understands that the body is concerned that the venue will not be commercially viable without adding gym facilities.

David Higgins, ODA chief executive, did not deny the ODA had cut plans for gyms in the building, but said it was because the site wasn’t able to accommodate the extra space.

He said: ” The original [Zaha Hadid] designs didn’t fit on the site we have. Trying to fit large fitness complexes in the centre was always an incredibly difficult idea.”