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It was only a matter of time before we started to see real evidence of the credit crisis hitting the Olympics. Now we've got it.

The media and broadcast centre, usually a complex so huge that many of the 20,000 journalists who work there get lost on a regular basis, was supposed to become a centre for the creative arts in Hackney after 2012. There was even talk of Bollywood making its London base there.

But Hackney mayor Jules Pipe fears that 80% of the 1.3m sq ft complex will have to be scrapped after the Games because of cashflow problems.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to raise private cash for the £400m project.

That means that London 2012 may be forced to build a temporary structure for most of the building. It also means that Hackney may not be left with anywhere near the kind of facilities which the council had hoped for to help create new jobs.

The Olympic Delivery Authority is looking to save money across the whole of the £9.3 billion Oiympic project. The current review of costs is not finished yet.

But this is clear evidence that London 2012 officials are starting to think about putting on a flat-pack Olympics. It is significant that the Hackney mayor has decided to break ranks and express his views in public at a conference on Olympic legacy.

He is calling on the Government, London authorities, and the Olympic Delivery to help solve the money problems.

There is also the question about whether a temporary structure will work for the world's media. London mayor Boris Johnson has already admitted that it is crucial to make sure the requirements of the media are met.

There are two basic reasons for that. Firstly, the broadcasters pay millions of pounds for the exclusive rights for the Games and can expect to have decent facilities for their staff.

Secondly, as Johnson admitted, it is important that journalists are happy with their working facilities. Get on the wrong side of them and London could face fierce criticism which will be bad for the city and bad for Britain.

Adrian Warner is BBC London's Olympics correspondent. Our FAQs should answer any questions you have.


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  • 1. At 4:48pm on 09 Oct 2008, MarktheHorn wrote:

    I fear all these problems that seem to be occuring with regard to the funding of the London 2012 games will actually put people off supporting our Olympic athletes.

    By 2012 people might just be fed up of the whole thing and be disillusioned because of the costs to the tax-payer.

    I what this to be a success and people to enjoy the event but I have worries this will not be the case.

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  • 2. At 09:03am on 10 Oct 2008, David Pajak wrote:

    There is a way that the Olympic Authority can save money. The BBC OneShow carried an item on Wed 17 September indicating that householders around London may be willing to offer accomodation to elite competitors, media and spectators during the 2012 event. LOCOG have already addressed this idea through their difficulties with the Londonrentmyhouse site as the domain name originally had included "2012", a protected term. The issues were well covered in the media last year and final construction of the site approved.
    LOCOG should now actively promote this concept much as it was in Sydney 2000. With finance for the Olympic Village and regeneration projects looking rather thin there is considerable potential for savings.

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  • 3. At 7:28pm on 10 Oct 2008, mistyevita wrote:

    Not a lot you can do really. Bad times are looming financially and London has to make the best of them.

    I think that if people saw more money being put into London 2012 when they themselves are struggling, it could make them resent the Olympics.

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  • 4. At 1:01pm on 11 Oct 2008, David Pajak wrote:

    Don't be too despondent mistyevita. If the OneShow report can be relied on, and at the same time as helping LOCOG solve the funding problem, Londoners can cash in by being temporary amateur short let landlords to help out the Olympic stars, spectators, media etc as they will flood into London needing accomodation convenient to the events.

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  • 5. At 00:38am on 12 Oct 2008, Slimpixs wrote:

    It's a once in a lifetime event - we bid for the Games, we won the right to hold the Games - we must now put on a good show regardless of the cost.

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  • 6. At 10:11am on 12 Oct 2008, MarktheHorn wrote:

    I hope it does work but there is dismay at the rising costs (potentially) and people (maybe some who aren't fans of the sports and Olympics in general) in London worried about how much positive effect they will get.

    I guess people just remember things like the Dome/Wembley and in the world there is a downbeat mood for a number of reasons.

    No gold medals to cheer on but at least England won yesterday.

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  • 7. At 04:25am on 27 Feb 2009, sydneylobo wrote:

    yeah, That's Right i am agreed with it. I guess people just remember thingslike the Dome/Wembley and in the world there is a downbeat mood for a number of reasons. I hope they will give their best and we will enjoy the match. Great post i look forward to reading more.
    Sydney
    temping jobs

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