London Olympics 'to come in £476m under budget'

Olympic stadium The Olympic Stadium will host the opening ceremony next month

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The London Olympics is set to come in under its £9.3bn budget with £476m of the contingency funding left, according to new government figures.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said it was "fantastic news" that the Games would be on time and under budget.

Ministers expect to be able to return the remaining money to the Treasury.

The £9.3bn budget, which included a £2bn contingency, was set in 2007 and was almost four times the estimated cost at the time London bid in 2005.

The budget was revised upwards after taking into account previously overlooked costs such as VAT, increased security costs, and an expanded brief for the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) to regenerate the lower Lea Valley area.

Addressing the original bid budget of £2.4bn, Sports Minister Hugh Robertson said there was a "recognition right from the word go that figure would have to change dramatically on the basis of delivering the Games".

London 2012 - One extraordinary year

London 2012 One extraordinary year graphic

Mr Hunt said: "Britain has proved that not only can we put on a great show for the world to watch like we did with the Jubilee but that we can also deliver big construction projects on time and on budget."

Mr Robertson said the latest figure for the Games, which begin next month, was "a great advert for the British construction industry, for sport and for UK Plc".

Following the success of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the ongoing Olympic torch relay, additional funding of £19m has been earmarked to bolster crowd control and public information for the games.

The money, which will be allocated from within the £9.3bn budget, will pay for additional stewards and crowd flow measures in central London as well as the "last mile" - what organisers describe as the distance between transport hubs and Games venues.

Mr Robertson said: "We know exactly how many tickets have been sold and roughly how many people should be in London. Absolutely nobody knows how many people are going to turn up.

"London this summer is going to be the place to have a party. It is a great national event. It is very difficult for us to know exactly how many people are going to come across on the train, in the car or on the ferry only for a party."

The government confirmed the work of the ODA, which is responsible for developing and building the venues and infrastructure for the games, is 98% complete.

It will not be fully completed until after the Games when the ODA will convert apartments in the Olympic Village into thousands of new homes.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 105.

    No suprise here when we have an opening ceremony which looks like a Teletubbie landscape. Is GB the only country that has green grass and farms. Doesnt say a lot does it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 104.

    So having spent a reputed £11,000,000,000. of OUR money,someone
    now has the cheek to inform us that £500,000,000 has been saved.
    No doubt Coe and co.will congratulate themselves and award each other millions in bonuses.
    What a disgrace--a stadium full of grass and animals and now the news that Paul-croak-McCartney is to "sing" for us.Yecht.

  • rate this

    Comment number 103.

    under budget because half the stewards may possibly be on work experience and not paid?

  • rate this

    Comment number 102.

    Just like to say 'well done' MR Lionel Mandrake, you are the MAN and maybe FOOLS in power will see there is a THREE year window to execute the olympic games.

  • rate this

    Comment number 101.

    £9.3 Billion to bring the world's biggest sporting event to London AND regenerate a heavily deprived area? Bargain, and I say that sincerely.

    To put these figures in to perspective, another part of London, Elephant and Castle is currently in the middle of a £1.5 Billion regeneration project.

  • rate this

    Comment number 100.

    Not under budget at all!
    The games have cost the nation four times the original budget and now they have spent most of the contingency fund too.
    But then again, Hunt hasn't exactly been in the news for his connection to the truth of late, has he?

  • rate this

    Comment number 99.

    What always astounds me about comment boards on subjects such as this are that the people who criticize government spending are the same people that think that the solution to every problem is more government spending. I personally hope that the 'savings' made in this case are given back to those that contributed to the cost in the first place - the tax payers.

  • rate this

    Comment number 98.

    @68 - "We have an unprecedented opportunity to showcase our national capabilities on the global stage".

    I certainly hope, for all our sakes and national pride, that it is a great success. But I can’t help feeling that this is going to be a massive over budget farce just like the millennium dome was, er is.

  • rate this

    Comment number 97.

    Fantastic News the olympics are £476 million under budget... according to Jeremy Hunt... What a load of baloney!!

    I recall the original costing as 2 billion so by my reckoning that is just under a mere £7 billion over budget... Politicians may have short memories the public do not

  • rate this

    Comment number 96.

    Well seeing as we are SO under budget with the Olympics, why dont we spend the rest of the money on more important things? Like MPs expenses. Or even some military funding for the games!

  • rate this

    Comment number 95.

    Ha ha ha ha under budget..
    The original budget was £3.2 ish billion and it was increased to £9 billion please dont treat us like we are stupid oh thats right you do treat us like that while you fill your pockets

  • rate this

    Comment number 94.

    Whatever happened to BBC editorial independence ? The headline to this article is misleading.

    Everyone knows the Olympics are massively over-budget and that Jeremy Hunt is spinning the truth. Perhaps he should resign (we live in hope.....)

  • rate this

    Comment number 93.

    I'll have to try this with our clients. I'll tell them a piece of work will cost £10k, then later quadruple it to £40k, then ask for their congratulations that we got it done for £38k vs an original quotation of £10k. I'm sure they'd be impressed. NOT.

  • rate this

    Comment number 92.

    aaahhhhahahahahaha under budget and on-time. Oh Jeremy, you scallywag, you do crack me up sometimes.....

  • Comment number 91.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this

    Comment number 90.

    l'm still shocked that we gave the games a budget of £9.3bn espeically in this economic climate for games that the common person who doesnt live in London gets no USE from. its an outrage when nurses pay and recruitment is being cut. Money poured down the drain just so London can advertise Coca-Cola, Budweiser and McD's etc.

  • Comment number 89.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this

    Comment number 88.

    Which budget is that then. Not the original one, or the second one!.

  • rate this

    Comment number 87.

    The final budget came in at four times more than initially estimated, and we're £476m under budget? So really... we've saved nothing. I'm also laughing inside at the comment about the Jubilee show being "great". The acts were old, outdated and uninspiring and even the Queen herself looked somewhat miserable.

  • rate this

    Comment number 86.

    Under budget???!! anyone spotted the fourth paragraph? that is it FOUR TIMES the budget made when we committed to this.

    The propaganda around this Olympics is amazing. If this 'wonderful legacy' turns out to be a legacy of fiscal pain, we'll have our own naivety to blame.

    But you won't see this comment in Editors' picks - it's for blind & naive positivity about the Olympics only.


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