No more big project bail-outs

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Indy Politics

Major sports projects such as Wembley Stadium, Manchester's Commonwealth Games, and the World Athletics Championship will no longer be allowed to hold ministers to ransom when they hit financial difficulties.

Less than a week after taxpayers funded a £105m rescue package for the 2002 Commonwealth Games, Culture, Media and Sport Secretary Tessa Jowell has ordered an investigation aimed at preventing projects from getting into trouble and then appealing to Government for cash.

In future, no development will be allowed to go ahead unless it is economically and socially justified, even if a high-profile event is at stake, said sources close to Ms Jowell.

She intends to make future events part of a long-term strategy and to end the prevailing culture of bailing them out once they are under way.

This means that organisers will no longer be able to demand automatic assistance when budgets are bust and projects run out of control.

Sources close to Ms Jowell said: "Tessa is keen to get a grip of this issue ... It's no good starting something, getting it wrong and then expecting the taxpayer to bail it out."

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