As the final major venue on the Olympic Park nears completion, new figures have revealed that the construction programme is projected to come in ahead of time and around £850m under budget.
The government's latest quarterly economic report showed that the anticipated final cost of the Olympic Delivery Authority's construction programme has fallen to £7.25bn. Hugh Robertson, the Sports and Olympics minister, said the figure, a £16m reduction on the previous quarter, showed that construction work was going well. "With one year to go to London 2012, the Games construction is 88% complete and ahead of time and under budget," Robertson said.
The ODA will next week hand over the Zaha Hadid-designed aquatics centre to 2012 organisers to celebrate the landmark of there being one year to go until the Games. "The ODA and the people who have worked on the venues have done a remarkable job to deliver top-quality facilities in a challenging environment imposed by a fixed deadline and strict budget," Robertson said. "Despite this, they have continued to drive down costs which means we can celebrate one year to go with confidence and a real sense of excitement and expectation."
The ODA's budget, including contingency, stands at £8.1bn of the overall government funding package of £9.3bn. As the ODA completes the venues attention will shift to the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games, chaired by Lord Coe, which is responsible for fitting them out.
The ODA's chairman, John Armitt, said the successful completion of the building project was testament 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."
Coe said Locog, which has its own privately raised budget of around £2bn, is awarding contracts worth £700m as it began the "overlay" process. "The teams at Locog are now concentrating on finalising our plans to stage the Olympic and Paralympic Games – we are 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," he said.