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Wellcome Trust and PLP out of Olympic Park race

Charity the Wellcome Trust and architect PLP Architecture’s £1bn bid to buy the freehold of the entire Olympic Park in east London has been rejected by the government.

A letter from culture secretary Jeremy Hunt and London mayor Boris Johnson to the Wellcome Trust has made it clear that the government will not stop talks with rival bidders over the purchase of the Athletes Village which threaten to derail the health science charity’s offer to buy the park, according to sister title the Architect’s Journal.

Last month, the organisation appointed PLP Architecture as part of a team to work on an audacious bid for the freehold ownership of the entire Olympic Park in east London. That bid was conditional on Wellcome also being handed the Athletes Village.

However the future of the £1bn offer looked uncertain from the start as it emerged that ministers had entered into exclusive negotiations with developers Delancey and Qatari Diar over the £500M sale of the 2,800-home Athletes Village.

The letter however asked Wellcome to maintain its interest in the wider freehold purchase of the park, suggesting there could be a future auction of the 312ha site. A spokesperson for the Wellcome Trust confirmed the bid was now entirely off and would not be revived in any modified form.

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