NAO underlines success of London 2012 in post-Games review

The Government’s spending watchdog also stresses importance of delivering legacy benefits

Posted on December 7, 2012 by
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Olympic Stadium

The £9.3bn Public Sector Funding Package might have been more than three times the £2.4 billion bid phase cost estimate, but in their post-Games review the National Audit Office ultimately underlined the success of the 2012 Games whilst stressing the importance of legacy leadership.

According to the report, £377m of the £9.3bn budget is likely to stay unspent, however that figure will not be confirmed until 2014.

“Few could have envisaged how successful the London 2012 Games would turn out to be,” commented Amyas Morse, head of the NAO. “The construction programme was completed on time and within budget, 11 million tickets were sold and our athletes excelled.”

The report stressed the importance of building on that success to deliver legacy benefits, with the Cabinet Office responsible for coordinating and assuring delivery. It was noted that the Cabinet Office will need to provide strong leadership to make the most of the momentum created by the Games.

“There has been progress in setting up arrangements to strengthen coordination and oversight of delivery of the planned legacy of the Games,” continued Morse.

“The Cabinet Office will now have to exercise strong leadership to ensure the longer-term benefits are delivered.”

In his new role as the government’s adviser on legacy issues, Lord Coe, based within the Cabinet Office, will report back to a committee chaired by the prime minister every 12 weeks.

Linked to this legacy, particularly for fans of athletics, is the question of who is to occupy the Olympic Stadium. Currently West Ham United remain the preferred bidders after the London Legacy Development Corporation listed the Premier League football club’s bid as their first choice after a meeting earlier this week.

LLDC chairman and Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “My position on the future of the stadium remains what it has always been; that we can secure a terrific future for this much loved and iconic venue with or without a football team playing there.”

If the bid is to go through, other events, such as the 2017 World Athletics Championships, are still planned to be staged at the stadium.

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