June 13 - London 2012 is predicted to be delivered £476 million ($741 million/€590 million) under budget with just over six weeks to go to the start of the Olympics, according to figures released here today by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
That is the figure of uncommitted contingency that is still available from the Games budget of £9.3 billion ($14.6 billion/€10.8 billion) and further significant spending is highly unlikely with the Olympic Delivery Authority's (ODA) construction programme now 98 per cent complete.
The figures, which came in the Government's last Quarterly Economic Report before the start of the Games, mean that over £400 million ($622 million/€496 million) could be given back to The Treasury following the conclusion of London 2012.
"With only a matter of weeks to go before the Olympics, it is fantastic news that there is still £476 million ($741 million/€590 million) of contingency funds left," said the Minister for Sport and the Olympics Hugh Robertson (pictured below), who unveiled the quarterly economic report here.
"At this stage, we look set to come in under £9 billion ($14billion/€11 billion) and that is a truly remarkable achievement that I honestly don't think that any of us expected at the beginning of this project.
"But we are not finished yet, not by a long shot.
"So while this is an impressive feat at this stage, we cannot start celebrating until we have crossed the finish line, which won't be until the Closing Ceremony of the Paralympic Games in September.
"But I can say that we are definitely in a good place right now."
The £476 million ($741 million/€590 million) of uncommitted contingency is made up of £388 million ($604 million/€481 million) of contingency within the public sector funding package coupled with an additional £88 million ($137 million/€109 million) available to the ODA in programme contingency to cover assessed risks – both ahead of the Games and for post-Games works.
The anticipated final cost of the ODA construction and transport programme now stands at £6.8 billion ($10.8 billion/€8.6 billion), a decrease of £16 million ($25 million/€20 million) on the previous quarter.
"Our marathon task of building an Olympic Park fit for champions is almost at an end," said ODA chief executive Dennis Hone (pictured below, right with Britain's Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt).
"The finish line is in sight but we have still got work to do, supporting the London Organising Committee in the next month and during the Games.
"The finishing touches are being put to this stage for the world's best athletes – but we want the audience to be thrilled too: not just the spectators this summer, but the people who will live, work and play in the Olympic Park for decades to come."
Funding made available to London 2012 has increased by £29 million ($45 million/€36 million) in the quarter as a result of transfers from the ODA, such as the Olympic Park and Athletes' Village.
In addition, £19 million ($29 million/€23 million) has been made available to improve crowd management through the training and employment of additional stewards.
The funds will also be used to improve public information in central London and the 'last mile' which is the distance between transport hubs and Games venues.
"We saw huge interest in the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and we simply cannot measure how many people will be in London for the Games, particularly if the weather is good," Robertson added.
"It is the responsibility of the Government to keep people safe and we think this extra money on things like more stewards will help us do that."
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February 2012: London 2012 set to come in £500 million under budget
December 2011: London 2012 could still go over budget, warns National Audit Office
December 2011: Government increase security costs for London 2012 by £271 million
May 2011: London 2012 construction programme budget descreases by £35 million
February 2011: Olympic costs increase but project still on time and on budget