London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), which runs London Stadium, has been criticised by the TaxPayers’ Alliance for its spending of taxpayers’ money.
The BBC reported that the stadium operator has spent £100,000 ($130,660/€116,800) to develop a communications strategy. The LLDC claimed it has helped to avoid higher costs later on.
London Stadium already employs three senior communications staff, who are paid more than £260,000 combined.
LLDC added: “This was a one-off project.”
The LLDC published the £100,000 spending figure, from July 2018, in detailed expenditure, which it is required to publish as a taxpayer-funded organisation.
Another £4m was spent on legal costs by the LLDC in a dispute with its main tenant, Premier League side West Ham United.
James Roberts, political director of lobby group the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said, according to the BBC: “You would have thought the LLDC would have been doing everything they could to keep costs to a minimum.
“Instead, their accounts show they’ve splashed taxpayers cash on expensive PR strategies and pointless wheezes like award ceremonies. Before kicking off again at West Ham about their costs, the LLDC really need to get their own house in order.”
LLDC also spent £32,000 on “media planning and buying services” for its 2018 Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park summer campaign, while using the London Stadium and its catering and security facilities for last year’s East Works Awards cost another £19,650.
An LLDC spokesman said: “The LLDC has a wide remit and responsibility and in line with similar organisations will buy in specialist services as required. All contracts over £5,000 are published and there is an audit and procurement process. The LLDC operates within its agreed annual budgets.”
On the £100,000 spent on an outside agency developing a communications strategy, it added: “Specialist research, stakeholder and communication advice was procured when the director of communication post was vacant during a time when multiple legal actions were under way against the London Stadium.
“This was a one-off project involving research and development and was part of the strategy which avoided a prolonged and expensive court case and provided information to inform the commercial strategy. There is no ongoing outside communication support.”
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