London Olympic plans on target, say ODA
LONDON: London’s preparations to stage the 2012 Olympics are on target and construction work will switch into top gear next year, the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) have said.
The ODA, the organisation charged with constructing the venues, announced that demolition on the sites of the five biggest venues – the Olympic Stadium, the Aquatics Centre, the Velopark, as well as the Olympic Village and the main press centre-international broadcasting centre – has been completed.
On the Olympic Park site as a whole, more than two-thirds of buildings have been demolished and half the site cleared of debris.
“This has been a year of solid progress on the ground in the preparations for the 2012 Games,” ODA chairman John Armit said
“With such a huge project, it was essential we got off to a good start. We have done that and are exactly where we planned to be at this stage. Big challenges lie ahead but we have put in place strong foundations for the future.
“In 2008, we will change gear as we enter the start of the ‘Big Build’ phase with construction beginning in earnest in the summer.”
The government has set a budget of £9.3bil (13bil euros) for construction, transport improvements and regeneration of the Olympic area in east London. The actual running of the Games will come from a separate £2bil (2.8bil euros) budget funded through television rights, ticket sales, merchandise and sponsorship.
Lord Sebastian Coe, chairman of the London organising committee for the Games (LOCOG), said: “In a project of this scale and complexity, we have to make the most of every day, and we have done just that this year, making excellent progress.
“We have made strong progress in our operational planning and, importantly, are engaging and inspiring people all over the UK to appreciate and value the power and magic of sport.
“We enter 2008 excited about the prospect of Beijing 2008, and of the beginning of our own Olympiad.
“As the eyes of the world turn to London after Beijing, we will be ready, and we won’t disappoint.”
The International Olympic Committee have also been pleased with the progress and their co-ordination commission delivered a positive report to the body’s executive board last week. – AFP