Last year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow was delivered £32 million ($48 million/€45 million) under the predicted £575 million ($859 million/€814 million) budget, a new report published today has revealed, while public funding was £37.2 million ($55.5 million/€52.6 million) less than anticipated.
The event in the Scottish city, which saw more than 4,800 athletes from 71 nations competing across 17 sports, cost a total £543 million ($811 million/€769 million).
Total public funding accounted for 78 per cent of Games spending, with the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council providing £424.5 million ($633.8 million/€600.8 million) towards that figure - almost nine per cent less than the initial estimate.
The remaining cost of the 11-day event was met by £118 million ($176 million/€167 million) of income from the sale of 1.2 million tickets, sponsorship and other private funding.
The report published for the Auditor General and Accounts Commission said "early evidence shows the Glasgow event compared favourably to previous Games", echoing the words of then Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive Mike Hooper who hailed Glasgow 2014 as "the standout Games in the history of the movement" at the Closing Ceremony.
"The Games have been widely seen as a success, and our report adds to this positive picture," Accounts Commission chair Douglas Sinclair said.
"Strong controls and good planning resulted in a £37.2 million ($55.5 million/€52.6 million) underspend of public money, money which will now be returned to the public sector.
"The partner organisations and businesses worked very well together to make the Games a great success.
"As this is a really strong example of successful partnership working it's really important for learning from this project to be shared within the public sector, to help future work."
The report said clear legacy plans are in place and there are already some examples of successful legacy, but the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council need to build on these to ensure long-term benefits are achieved.
It also highlighted the importance of strong leadership, particularly in light of the limited public sector funding available for legacy and said the evaluation framework in place will help to monitor progress regularly up to 2019.
"Working to ensure a legacy has been part and parcel of planning for the Games, and we've seen a good start on this," Auditor General Caroline Gardner said.
"With ongoing pressures in public sector budgets it is all the more important for the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council to ensure the planned legacy benefits are achieved.
"They need to continue to evaluate the impact to ensure the Games achieves their longer-term aims such as a healthier population and better life chances for people living in the East End of Glasgow."
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