Qatari-Diar in Olympic Village bid?

29 July 2011

The Wellcome Trust has refused to comment on speculation that its plans to take over the Olympic Park after next year's Games are under threat from a Qatari-backed consortium. 

The government is assessing an estimated £1BN offer from the UK-based charity to take over all the freehold assets of the park. However, the future of the offer now looks uncertain as it emerged that ministers have entered into negotiations with developer Delancey and Qatari Diar, owner of the contentious Chelsea Barracks site in Central London, over the sale of the 2,800 home Athlete's Village, currently under construction by contractor Bovis Lend Lease.

Earlier this month, the Health Science charity Wellcome Trust started putting together a team to work on a bid for the freehold ownership of the entire Olympic Park in London. The bid was conditional on Wellcome being handed the Olympics Village, with a Wellcome spokesperson confirming that 'Our proposal for the Park very much depends on a bid for the Village.'

It has been suggested however that if a successful deal is made with Delancey and Qatari Diar for the village then that consortium and other parties could be asked if they are interested in purchasing the wider park, reported the Financial Times.

Delancey said in a statement: 'Delancey has not been and will not be entering into wider discussions in respect of the wider Olympic Park; this would be a matter for the Olympic Park Legacy Company and would involve a competition under government procurement rules,' Regeneration + Renewal magazine reported.

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