An Olympic record? Games set to be under budget

With six weeks to go, organisers say they hope to return up to £476m to Treasury

With 43 days until the Games, the Government still has £476million left of its Olympic contingency fund, and ministers are "increasingly certain" they will deliver the event for "less than £9billion", significantly below the £9.3bn that was agreed in 2007.

One cost that has risen, however, is an extra £19m to be spent on stewarding, barriers and temporary pedestrian bridges around Hyde Park and Greenwich Park.

The Sports Minister, Hugh Robertson, said that the size of the crowds that have massed around the Olympic torch, and particularly the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, at which more than a million people were undeterred by the terrible weather, had caused Olympic officials to increase the amount of stewarding they needed.

"You have to consider that London is going to be a single sporting and cultural attraction, and it is going to be the place to come and have a summer party," he said.

"We can say precisely how many people will be attending Olympic venues because we know the number of tickets sold, and we know how many people there will be in London. But nobody knows just how many people are going to get on a train or on a ferry or plane and turn up."

Seventy-six million pounds will now be spend on managing crowds, significantly up on the £50m that had originally been put aside.

The Government was widely criticised in December when it announced the security costs had risen to close to £1bn, at a comparatively late stage in the day. That the same has happened with stewarding, albeit on a lesser scale, is a source of some embarrassment, though Mr Robertson said that, given the extra costs are a response to the vast crowds at the jubilee and the torch relay, "you could say we were managing success."

Whatever remains from the £476m at the end of the Paralympic closing ceremony will be returned to the treasury by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, and not retained to be spent on sport as some had hoped.

The quarterly report, published yesterday, revealed that a total of £183m of public money has now been passed to Lord Coe's Locog, the committee responsible for organising the games, which is technically a private company and cannot be subject to Freedom of Information requests. Its £2bn budget is supposed to come from ticket sales and sponsorship. The Sports Minister insisted the £183m is primarily for last-minute building works and that it is "against intended scope", in that the money should have come from the public purse anyway.

The approximately £9bn cost to the public is considerably more than the £2.4bn promised in the 2005 bid. But that figure, Mr Robertson said, "didn't include security, contingency, VAT or regeneration costs." It is sizeably less than the £22bn that the Beijing Olympics are widely believed to have cost, and marginally less than the £9.4bn spent on Athens.

Higher, lower... the changing budget

£2.4bn Original estimate of cost of Games (2005)

£9.3bn Revised budget announced in 2007

£8.82bn Latest prediction of actual expenditure

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmWhat makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes hobby look 'dysfunctional'
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week