London 2012 Venues 88% Complete

July 20, 2011

British Sport and Olympics Minister Hugh Robertson has said that London 2012 has “salvaged the reputation of the British construction industry” after revealing that he expected the project to be delivered on time and under budget, something he himself never believed possible when the English capital was awarded the Games six years ago.

The estimate of the final cost is down by US$26 million since May, when the last prediction was made.

The anticipated final cost of the Olympic Delivery Authority’s (ODA) construction programme has fallen to US$11.68 billion and is likely to finish US$1.3 billion under budget.

Robertson showed that construction of the facilities was progressing at a satisfactory rate with most of the work now completed more than a year before the Olympics are due to open.

He said: “With one year to go to London 2012, the Games construction is 88 per cent complete and ahead of time and under budget.

“That is an extraordinary thing for a Government Minister to be able to say a year out from the Games.”

Robertson admitted that when London were awarded the Olympics and Paralympics by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) at its Session in Singapore, he had his doubts about whether the project would be a success, following the problems that had troubled the reconstruction of Wembley Stadium. 

He added: “I didn’t think in 2005 we had a chance of getting where we are today.

“These are remarkable successes and tribute should be paid to all the ODA staff who have consistently met the challenges set by an immovable deadline and strict budget.

“They have all played vital roles in the success of the build project that will be held-up as an example of British construction and engineering excellence for decades to come. 

“They have salvaged the reputation of the British construction industry.”

Five venues, the latest of which is the International Broadcast Centre, are now complete, with the next completion due to be the Aquatic Centre, which is expected to be unveiled on July 27, the date marking the One Year to Go landmark until the Games commences.

John Armitt, the chairman of the ODA, said: “The Olympic Park project is on schedule and budget and we have successfully hit all of our milestones over the last five years. This is thanks to the skill and professionalism of thousands of British businesses who have won contracts and shown the rest of the world what UK plc can achieve.

He added: “The Olympic Park is a great showcase for UK industry and many companies have used it to go on and win work on other projects across the world. When we welcome the world to London next summer, tens of thousands of people from right across the UK will know that they played a part in building the stage for the greatest show on earth.”

The ODA is coming to the end of its procurement after awarding more than 1,500 direct contracts worth over US$10 billion, 98 per cent of which were awarded to British companies.

The  ODA’s contract for the construction of the Olympic Stadium, for example, resulted in work for 240 UK companies plus many more sub-contractors.

Another US$1.1 billion worth of contracts are set to be awarded in the next year by London 2012 as officials gear up for the operational phase of the project.

Sebastian Coe, the chairman of London 2012, said: “London 2012 has already been great news for British business – and there’s more to come. The new permanent venues are mostly constructed and the Olympic Park is progressing well in advance of next summer.

“The teams at LOCOG are now concentrating on finalising our plans to stage the Olympic and Paralympic Games – we’re about half way through our own procurement programme and there are lots more opportunities for British business to be part of the greatest show on earth.”