Government lessen impact of Olympic funding shortfall

The Government today moved to limit the damage of a funding gap for Olympic sports by coming up with an extra £29m.

The extra cash, announced by culture secretary Andy Burnham to UK Sport's board today, means the shortfall for the run-up to the London 2012 Games is £50m rather than £79m.



It should mean that the medal target for the British team in London can remain fourth place in the table, although a number of sports where medal chances are very slim will still face funding cuts.



The individual Olympic sports will be told their level of funding tomorrow and whether they will have to implement any cuts in their programmes.



Expensive team sports with limited prospects such as volleyball, basketball and handball are most vulnerable to the cuts.



The funding gap arose after the Government's plan of attracting private sector investment failed to bring in any money at all. Both the British Olympic Association and the shadow Olympics minister Hugh Robertson have called on the Government to honour their original commitment, made in 2006, to £100m a year for Olympic sports.



The extra £29m means that £40m more will be spent overall up to London than was done in the run-up to Beijing, where the British team finished fourth in the medals table.

Burnham insists no sport "will be cut adrift" despite the funding shortfall.

Instead, Burnham insists those sports that are in an embryonic stage - and thus not a medal hope in London - will still be backed to be used as a launchpad for beyond 2012.



The destination of the funding will now be handled by UK Sport and Burnham told BBC Radio Five Live: "It's right that the politician's job ends here.



"I've got to deliver an overall funding package and set a broad direction but it is now for the experts to take difficult but realistic decisions sport by sport about where our medal potential lies.



"We all got a huge lift in the summer and though they didn't get the credit at the time, a lot of that was down to UK Sport.



"They have done a tremendous job over many years building an elite sports system in this country which truly is world class.



"Now it is for me to get out of their way, let them make those difficult calls but we are saying no sport will be cut adrift.



"(For) some of the sports in more of a developmental stage we are going to identify a way forward so they can really use London to act as a springboard for more success."



Burnham admitted the changed economic circumstances had been a factor in the amount of funding offered.



"We are also saying as a clear condition of the funding we are giving that all sports now are being asked to contribute to a wide-ranging private sector fund-raising drive called 'Medal Hopes' that will then bring in funds to get to our overall ambition for the London Games," Burnham continued.



"Since the end of the Beijing Games the world has changed somewhat.



"The global economy has changed significantly and the job I faced was to give sport certainty in this era.



"People can get on now and build for London.



"Having reached the limit of what we can give from public funds.... the public contribution is now topped up by private sector contributions and I see no lack of appetite out there for companies to get involved and support budding young sports people."



PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee