Government faces race to get legacy plans in place before games

The Olympic Park Legacy Company today formally started a competition to find users for the Olympic stadium after the 2012 games, following the collapse of the deal to sell the ground to West Ham Football Club.

The legacy company, set up to manage the post-games regeneration of the Olympic Park, said it was looking for a range of users for the ground, which will now remain in public ownership.

The announcement follows the admission in October that the legacy company was abandoning the sale process because of an ongoing legal dispute with the losing bidder for the stadium, Tottenham Hotspur FC.

Newham council has in recent weeks renewed its offer to buy a £40m stake in the stadium, which it says is to ensure ongoing community access to it. West Ham is set to bid again to use the stadium, but today’s offer makes it clear the legacy company is also looking for a year-round range of uses at the venue.

Andrew Altman, chief executive of the OPLC, said the Olympic stadium will become a new national stadium for athletics, and a venue that can host “a full array of sporting, cultural and commercial events in one of the most exciting destinations in the world.”

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “Opening up the bidding to other interested parties now shows just how far ahead we are in planning a great future for east London long after the Games have left town.”

Bids to use the 60,000 seat multi-purpose venue are due back in March 2012. The Legacy Company plans to appoint the winning bidders in May 2012 and says it remains on track to reopen the venue in 2014.