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Six week deadline for West Ham to complete Olympic Stadium questionnaire

West Ham have six weeks in which to finalise their plans for moving into the Olympic Stadium following Wednesday's launch of the formal bidding process. The Barclays Premier League club are among a group of interested parties hoping to win a long-term lease of the venue after the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Those organisations now wishing to formalise their interest have until noon on September 30 to make a formal bid by completing a questionnaire.

The OPLC will select preferred bidders from this phase in the autumn and begin formal negotiations with the aim of signing a lease agreement by March 31, 2011.

Margaret Ford, chairman of the OPLC, said: "The stadium is at the heart of the Olympic Park and securing the most appropriate solution is crucial to our long-term aspirations for the area.

"We have generated a great deal of interest by working with the market to understand how they would use this iconic venue.

"I am delighted that organisations with a serious interest all want a mixed usage - this is in line with our promise to meet the bid commitments, and our vision for the Stadium to be a focal point for sport and community use.

"We aim to have selected an anchor tenant by the end of the financial year."

West Ham's Olympic Projects Director Ian Tompkins is aware that not all of their supporter base is behind the club's proposed move from their traditional home at Upton Park.

The club plan to invite a group of supporters into the stadium to witness firsthand what the venue will be like.

"An important part of our bid is the domino effect," said Tompkins.

"The proposal Newham is developing in conjunction with ourselves is for the warm-up track to be a community facility.

"We have spoken with Newham and Essex Beagles (athletics club), London Marathon and others about how that would work.

"If Essex Beagles were to use the community track that would free up their existing facility.

"Newham have talked about expanding cricket facilities in the area. That has led to discussions with Essex, who are equally keen on developing a presence in East London.

"The other double benefit of West Ham United moving is that our existing Upton Park site would open the door to a much-needed wider regeneration of the surrounding area, which Newham is exploring as part of our overall bid.

"We have six weeks to officially respond to a number of questions they will be asking. We are confident that at the end of the day, ours can be a viable solution. We can make it work."

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