London

Fears over London 2012 grassroots sport target

Olympic stadium
Image caption Campaigners want a high community use for the facilities

Grassroots sport may fall below the target of 90% usage of Olympic Park facilities after the 2012 Games, officials have claimed.

Bids are being received from potential Olympic Stadium tenants, including one from football club West Ham.

Kate Hoey, the London Mayor's sports commissioner, said it was important to argue for 90% because otherwise the figure may become far smaller.

Legacy bosses have said the winning bidder must support regeneration.

Ms Hoey told the London Assembly's Economic Development, Culture, Sport and Tourism Committee: "It may be that it will not end up at 90% but if we are not arguing for 90% we may well get far less.

"We do not know who is going to take over the Olympic Stadium. It may be a football club. I have visited football stadiums and they have been buzzing throughout the day with nurseries and other community uses."

She added: "We have to get whoever is there, if it is a football club, to sign up to it because it is so annoying when you go to a football stadium and it is empty when it could be used."

Dee Doocey, the committee's deputy chair, said: "I would be delighted if 50% is achieved. I would be surprised if 50% is achieved.

"The good sense of community does not work. It should be in the document and it should be a legal requirement.

"I think that unless it is firmed up it will not happen. I am scared that 90% will become 10%."

A statement issued by the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) said: "The OPLC is working closely with the local community and stakeholders in the host boroughs, during the planning process, to ensure the Olympic Park is successfully integrated with the surrounding areas.

"It is essential that we maximise community use of the park and sports venues after the Games."

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