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Olympic budget may fall by £29M

Buildings and infrastructure costs for the London 2012 Games may go down by £29M to £7.2bn, according to official figures.

The Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review cut £20M from the Olympic Delivery Authority’s (ODA) budget, £7M of which was found by abandoning plans unless a sponsor can be found for a much-hyped plastic wrap around the Olympic Stadium.

Combined with other efficiency savings, public sector funding for the Olympic project was pegged at £9.3bn.

On whether London 2012 is on track to be the first Olympics to come in under budget Olympics minister Hugh Robertson noted: “I suspect that if I were to say that no doubt you would remember us bidding for it at £2.4bn.”

A revised public sector budget of £9.3bn, triple the original £2.4bn estimate when London successfully bid to host the Games, was announced by the then culture secretary Tessa Jowell in March 2007.

There is also the mystery surrounding the budget for the 2008 Beijing Games.

The latest attempts to control the 2012 budget in a balancing act involving trying to offset cost increases against the effect of the credit crunch were today in the Culture Department’s quarterly report on the Olympic project.

So far 75% of the project has been completed.

There is a potential cost increase of £11M on the aquatics centre as work is speeded up to hit completion dates for next year.

Vital temperature control measures are needed at the aquatics centre to ensure conditions are ideal for athletes, including the Paralympians who will be competing in September 2012 when cooler Autumn temperatures may strike.

Slight delays at the aquatics centre can be pinpointed to the complexity of the 160m long and 3000t wave-shaped roof, according to ODA chief executive David Higgins.

He said: “It is accelerated costs. The roof was much longer than we expected. It was months. It is just a matter of making sure we hit the date in July 2011. The roof is complicated and it changed the work sequence.”

Higgins said they were working with “quite fine” temperature differences, looking “to get the temperatures right for the athletes in the period going into the Paralympic Games”.

The estimated £20M cut to the stadium costs could bring it down to £496M, close to its original estimate three years ago.

Consultants, tasked with keeping the bill for the 2012 Olympics under control, are in line for a “forecast cost increase in performance management of around £10M,” according to the figures.

The report said: “This anticipates enhanced payments to the delivery partner CLM due to the strong progress of the project against agreed milestones and savings achieved.

“CLM’s enhanced payments are based on performance and they are incentivised to drive down costs across the programme.”

Another £8M is also estimated on Stratford City Land and Infrastructure for payments due to the London Development Agency as part of the compulsory purchase order process and some additional infrastructure works, including a new pedestrian bridge.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Can I just point out that if you quote these savings in the same order as the overall costs, the comparison doesn't make much sense (£29m = £0.029bn v £7.2bn)!

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