London 2012 unharmed by government cuts

London: London 2012 Olympics organisers are on schedule to complete their project despite a 27 million pounds government budget cut, the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) said on Monday.

The coalition government’s wide-ranging austerity measures to tackle Britain’s budget deficit included a reduction in the money allocated for the 2012 Games. However, the ODA said its own efforts to drive down costs had already achieved savings.

In its Quarterly Economic Report, the ODA said it had reduced the estimated overall cost of the Games by 6 million pounds to 9.298 billion pounds.

Those savings would have been nearer 50 million were it not for tax, VAT and national insurance increases announced by the government. The ODA said 100 million pounds of savings had been made in the last quarter, of which 27 million pounds had been returned to the government.

Of those savings, 13 million pounds came from construction site security, 11 million from the international broadcast centre and main media centre, and 3 million from smaller changes to the basketball arena and velodrome.

“As we approach two years to go until the Games, and with over two-thirds of the construction phase complete, we are in an excellent position,” Sports Minister Hugh Roberston said.

“The ODA have done an excellent job thus far, delivering a complex project on time and within budget, despite the credit crunch. Today’s report shows they have delivered 27 million of savings as part of the Government’s measures for reducing the deficit, while keeping the whole Olympic programme intact.”

ODA chief executive David Higgins said 700 million pounds of savings had been made since the baseline budget for the Games was announced in November 2007.

“As we have done since the very start of the project, we have made savings through driving greater efficiency on a range of projects,” he said.

“We will continue to bear down those costs wherever possible, whilst ensuring we deliver what is required for both a fantastic Games in 2012 and a lasting legacy afterwards.”

The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) has completed its latest set of milestones on time it was announced today as the “Big Build’ construction project moved into its final year. New aerial images of the Olympic Park have also been released showing the good progress being made across the site.

Last week the ODA said it had achieved all 10 construction milestones announced last year and that by this time next year the structures of all the main venues will be complete an ready for handing over to the organising committee.

Seats have already been installed inside the main Olympic stadium while the structures of the Aquatics Centre and Velodrome are also complete.

Three quarters of the Olympic Village is also built and more than 2,000 new trees have bene planted as landscaping of the park begins.

Bureau Report

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