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Key deal puts £438M in Olympics pot

A long-awaited deal brokered by the former government and Boris Johnson has been approved, meaning an extra £438M for the Olympic budget.

The new Government’s spending cuts cast doubt on the key Olympic Park land deal and 2012 legacy plans but the Chancellor has now given them the green light.

The deal provides the Olympic Park Legacy Company, which is responsible for ensuring the east London venue has a viable long-term financial future, with assurances it will get debt-free possession of the land.

The Treasury will pay £438M on top of the existing Olympic budget to help relieve the London Development Agency (LDA) of around £800M in debt incurred while assembling the site.

Doubt was cast on the future of London’s 2012 legacy plans, being developed by the OPLC, when the new Government decided to review all spending decisions taken since 1 January 2010.

“The board of the Olympic Park Legacy Company is delighted with the announcement by the Government regarding the resolution of the land and debt issue,” said OPLC chair Baroness Ford.

“This affirms their strong commitment to legacy and allows us to carry on building the momentum we have been driving over the past year.”

It is believed the ongoing uncertainty did not help the OPLC as it held talks with private investors and tried to plan the future of key venues, such as the showpiece Olympic Stadium and the media centre.

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