Olympics costs 'could fall by £29m'

Buildings and infrastructure costs for the London 2012 Games may go down by £29 million to £7.232 billion, according to official figures released today.

The Government's spending review cut £20 million from the Olympic Delivery Authority's (ODA) budget, £7 million 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 £9.3 billion.

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 £2.4 billion."

A revised public sector budget of £9.325 billion, triple the original £2.4 billion 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 revealed 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 £11 million 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 3000-tonne 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."

Mr 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 £20 million cut to the stadium costs could bring it down to £496 million, 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 £10 million," 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 £8 million 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.

In total £39 million of contingency was used during the last quarter covering areas such as early security works and seeking efficiencies in procurement, the ODA said.

There was also need for additional security facilities around the Olympic Park in Stratford, east London, the areas between the site and the Westfield Shopping Centre, and for security of IT systems.

There is £1.143 million of contingency available as £829 million had been released by September 30.

Olympic officials argue this will be enough to fund work needed at the Park given the potential risks that could be thrown up.

From April 2011, in light of the spending review settlement, around £0.5bn of the funding package, mostly held in the Treasury Reserve, will be left as contingency for cross-programme issues.

This reflects the programme's changing focus from construction to operational requirements, it was noted.

Mr Higgins said: "We have made savings as part of the spending review process without jeopardising successful delivery and in total have now saved over £750m since the start of the project to keep us on track.

"Today we are announcing that the roof of the handball arena is complete and across the rest of the Olympic Park progress is very visible with the velodrome set to be the first new venue on site to be finished early in 2011.

"With 75% of the programme to Games-time now finished we are in the home straight but are not complacent and are focused on maintaining progress in the months ahead."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
sportWWE latest including Sting vs Triple H, Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns and The Undertaker vs Bray Wyatt
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
2015 General Election

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor