By Duncan Mackay
November 23 - London 2012 remains on time and within budget, new official data published today by the Government and Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) claimed.
Figures from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Quarterly Economic Report show a small rise in the Anticipated Final Cost (AFC) of the construction programme being delivered by the ODA- up by £7 billion to £7.241 billion during the last quarter, equivalent to an increase of less than 0.1 per cent.
The extra costs have been caused by the potential requirement for more to be spent on upgrading local sporting facilities for Games-time training venues and an increase in the cost pressure on other Parkwide project, including increased costs for vehicle screening, accreditation areas and transport malls.
There have also been increased security costs during the building of the Olympic Village.
No contingency has had to be released to cover these potential increases as it is anticipated that they will be covered, either wholly or in part, by savings made in other parts of the building programme.
But nearly £2 million of contingency was spent partly on investigating the suitability of Barking and Dagenham as a venue location for shooting, rhythmic gymnastics and badminton.
The majority (£1.27 billion) of contingency remains unreleased and the ODA continues to make good progress in preparing the venues and infrastructure in the Olympic Park, with construction on all major venues underway, the Government claimed.
The Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell said: "This reports shows we are still on time and still on budget.
"Every day the Olympic Park changes a little bit more, confirming the huge progress that the Olympic Delivery Authority and its contractors are making in building the venues and infrastructure that will be so familiar in less than three years time.
"At each and every stage the building programme is good news for London, and good for Britain – helping the UK come through the recession now, showcasing our construction and design skills and leaving behind a long-term legacy of new facilities and a new urban park in a transformed East London.".
John Armitt, the chairman of the ODA, said: "We are on track and within budget.
"Cost pressures across the programme continue to be offset in the main by savings and the majority of contingency remains unreleased.
"The external structure of the Stadium is complete as is the roof of the Aquatics Centre and work is progressing quickly on the other venues, transport and infrastructure projects needed for Games and in legacy.
"75p of every pound we spend is for long term improvements to this part of East London so there is already a strong physical legacy from the project.
"Over 7,000 people are working on the Olympic Park and Athletes Village and businesses all over the UK are benefitting from the economic opportunity the preparations for the Games present.
"There is no cause for complacency.
"Next year is set to be our toughest yet as activity on site reaches a peak and it is essential we maintain our momentum."
The publication of the report coincides with the arrival in London this week of the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Coordination Commission to inspect how much progress has been made in preparations for 2012.
Organisers today released new images which they claim shows they are continuing to make good progress on the Olympic Park.
Armitt said: "With construction work on the Olympic Park approaching its peak, the 'Big Five' venues are already becoming landmarks on the East London skyline and show how much progress has been made since the IOC Coordination Commission visited earlier this year.
“The external structure of the Olympic Stadium has been finished and the completion of the Aquatics Centre roof gives us an exciting glimpse of what will become the 'Gateway to the Games' and the Olympic Park's most iconic venue.
"Work is also racing ahead in the north of the Park with the first residential plot of the Village structurally complete, the huge frame of the IBC/MPC (International Broadcast Centre/Main Press Centre) in place and the striking architecture of the Velodrome taking shape.
"The Olympic Park 'big build' is firmly on track but we are not complacent and these new images show the sheer scale of the project and the challenges ahead as we enter our toughest year in the project."
Sebastian Coe, the chairman of London 2012, said: "In a little under 1,000 days time, the eyes of the world will fall upon this part of East London.
"The area is being transformed, creating new communities, new housing, and state-of-the-art sporting facilities.
"It is abundantly clear from these photographs that this piece of regeneration is well under way.
"Over the next year or so, we look forward to seeing the ODA continuing its excellent work so far and seeing the Olympic Park come to life - both for the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games in 2012 but also for generations to come."
A new fly-through of the Olympic Park, narrated by Jonathan Edwards, can be viewed on the London 2012 website by clicking here.
Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]