By Daniel Hunter

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has welcomed ambitious plans by Westfield to build the UK's largest indoor ski facility in Stratford, East London. Westfield Stratford City will submit a planning application to LLDC by the end of the summer for a major leisure attraction on land adjacent to its retail operations, to include London's first indoor ski facility.

The new ski centre would be more than double size of other similar UK centres and be comparable with Ski Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. The planning application is also expected to include retail, hotel and restaurant opportunities.

The Mayor and the LLDC have also announced today the awarding of multi-million pound contracts to convert the Olympic stadium, securing its long-term, multi-purpose use. The E20 Stadium Partnership - set up between the LLDC and Newham Council - has awarded a series of major contracts, with Balfour Beatty Group Limited delivering a £41m contract to carry out works on the stadium roof.

This will help convert it into an all-round multi-use venue and deliver a lasting sporting, cultural and commercial legacy in east London. Balfour Beatty will begin to dismantle the existing roof and floodlight towers from autumn 2013. Once the existing roof and floodlight towers are removed a new roof will be built and lifted into position. It will be twice the size of the original at around 45,000sq metres and will cover every seat in the ground and improve the acoustics for matches and concerts.

In addition, Imtech G&H will deliver a £25m contract for electrical and plumbing work in the stadium and Carey's PLC have won a £1.5m contract to carry out preparatory work for Balfour Beatty.

In addition, the Mayor has also confirmed that the LLDC is in substantive discussions with University College London (UCL) about developing a major new UCL campus on the Olympic Park. This follows the announcement that the Mayor and the LLDC are set to speed up the creation of new neighbourhoods on the Olympic Park, to include 1,600 homes completed and fully occupied by 2023, rather than 2029 as originally planned.

“One year on from London's Olympic and Paralympic Games and we are defying the sceptics who prophesied a herd of white elephants. This weekend, elite athletics returns to the magnificent Olympic stadium and major contracts are now in place to transform the venue into a multi-sport arena," The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said.

"In further good news, Stratford's status as a stunning new destination is confirmed by Westfield's plans for a world-class indoor ski centre. This underscores the massive confidence in this area from investors which is delivering a real pay back for taxpayers in terms of jobs and the regeneration of East London.”

The retractable seating arrangements in the Stadium will allow for seats to be moved backwards and forwards depending on the type of event taking place. It will allow pitch side football viewing while retaining the iconic international class running track.

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