'Risks' that Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games budget may rise

Glasgow will host the Games in July and August 2014

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Preparations for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow are on budget but there are "risks" more cash may be needed, a financial watchdog has said.

Audit Scotland's progress report said infrastructure projects were running on time and to the approved £524m budget.

But it said uncertainty over security costs, and potential hitches with the Athletes Village and Hampden athletics venue, could see a budget over-run.

The watchdog said risks around the 2014 event were less than for other Games.

Audit Scotland said that when fieldwork for its report was carried out in November, "planning was generally where it should be at this stage and all venues and other infrastructure projects were forecast to be ready on time... and within budget".

The report noted, however, that there were "key risks in delivering some developments, including the Athletes' Village and the development of Hampden Park as a track and field athletics venue".

Security costs

Both are due to be completed less than five months before Glasgow hosts the Games in July and August 2014.

Audit Scotland said that "if difficulties arise more money may be needed to ensure they are ready in time".

The watchdog also said there was "a risk that security costs may be higher than expected based on the experience of other Games".

Athletes Village image The report said complications with the Athletes Village could require more cash

It said security planning was "still at a relatively early stage and it is not yet clear whether the security budget is expected to cover all security costs".

The report said that a key priority for the Games organisers would be in recruiting "sufficient and experienced staff" to cope with the final preparations.

Auditor General for Scotland, Robert Black, said: "Arrangements for hosting the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games are currently on track, with all venues and infrastructure forecast to be ready in time and on budget.

"Because around 70% of the infrastructure is already in place, the risks involved in this major project are less than for other Games.

"Nevertheless an event like this is always going to have risks. At this stage, the organisers are identifying and managing these risks but cannot eliminate them completely."

'Outstanding experience'

Mr Black said the key risks were "potential cost increases" over yet to be completed projects.

A spokesman for the Glasgow 2014 organising committee said the Games partners were "pleased" that the report recognised the progress that had been made.

The spokesman added: "As identified in this report there are risks associated with delivering a complex multi-sport event of this scale.

"However we are pleased to note the Auditor General's comments that partners are identifying key risks and managing them.

"The focus for Glasgow 2014 and our Games partners continues to be delivering an outstanding Commonwealth Games experience."

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