West Ham United and Newham Council

West Ham United and Newham Council are working on a plan for a joint bid to occupy the Olympic Stadium and guarantee it provides a viable and lasting legacy after the 2012 Games.

The proposal would be to make the venue a vibrant centre of sport, culture and education, featuring both football and athletics. Open day and night all year round, it would have an active community use, inspiring learning and achievement and helping to create a better quality of life for tens of thousands.

The football club and the council believe the move could result in the first-ever successful post-Games use of an Olympic stadium, generating much-needed employment in the area and making for a healthier East London by increasing sports and physical activity.

They say the initiative could bring a wider benefit too. One of the ideas being examined is to incorporate an Olympic visitor centre and football museum at the stadium. Together with the other attractions in the Olympic Park and the neighbouring Westfield Stratford City shopping centre it could make the venue one of the nation's favourite destinations.

Discussions are focusing on how such a partnership might work and the full implications of a joint bid.

Both parties are mindful of the pledge given to the International Olympic Committee that a London Games will leave a solid athletics legacy. But they are calling for a solution to be found that will allow football and other sports to share the venue and prevent it from becoming a "ghost of Olympics past".

If a joint bid is viable, it will be submitted to the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC). The OPLC is responsible for the long-term development, management and maintenance of the Park after the Games and is inviting proposals for the stadium.

West Ham United vice-chairman Karren Brady said: "We are very excited to be working with Newham and are already bursting with some fantastic and innovative ideas. West Ham United is a people's club at the heart of its community and, like the Mayor of Newham, Sir Robin Wales and the council, we want to grab this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a real, life-changing legacy - not just for this part of London, but for the wider area as well.

"It's about realising the full potential of the Olympic Park. As well-established local organisations, Newham Council and West Ham United are best placed to make it happen. If achievable it is the ideal answer for those who, rightly, demand a sustainable legacy from the 2012 Games and not a white elephant.

"We acknowledge the need for the stadium to host world-class athletics and so it should. But it can accommodate football, too - and a whole lot more. There has to be a way of achieving that."

Mayor of Newham, Sir Robin Wales, said: "The last thing anyone wants is for the Olympic Stadium to become a ghost of Olympics past. We were concerned about this when London successfully won the bid to host the 2012 Games and we continue to be concerned.

"The only realistic solution is to make the stadium work for a Premier League football team and that should be West Ham United. We have never understood why that wasn't obvious.

"Look at what Manchester did after the Commonwealth Games. Why can't we do that here? West Ham understands the community. It will mean there is a tenant that will look after the place, rather than let it go to ruin."