London's Stadium Loses It's Decorative Wrap
Friday, 22 October 2010

Plans to surround London's Olympic stadium with an eye-catching fabric wrap have been scrapped after Wednesday's spending review by the British government but the overall Games budget has been unaffected.

"It is non essential and cannot be justified in the current financial climate," a spokesman for the Department of Culture and Sport (DCMS) said.

The 516 million pounds stadium had been designed with the wrap covering the steel girders and grey concrete seating and would have allowed for colourful images and slogans to light up the east London venue at night.

By scrapping the idea, the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) will make a further seven million pounds in savings while another 13 million pounds will be trimmed in efficiency savings.

The ODA, the body responsible for building the Games infrastructure and venues, has already achieved 700 million pounds in savings since London's largest urban regeneration project began.

Despite the 80,000-seat stadium being stripped of its Games-time gloss, the 2012 Olympics escaped unscathed from the wide-ranging cuts in public spending announced on Wednesday.

"To deal with an unprecedented financial deficit we have been forced to make some incredibly difficult decisions," Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, said in a statement.

"We will deliver a safe and successful Olympics in 2012 when the eyes of the whole world will be upon us.

"By cutting bureaucracy and waste and prioritising the services valued by the public we will be able to protect our sporting and cultural core for the long term."

While the 9.3 billion Olympic budget may have been ring-fenced, London 2012 chief Sebastian Coe's desire for the 2012 to leave a lasting legacy in terms of participation levels could be undermined by cuts to general sports funding.

Sport England and UK Sport will both face a 30 percent cut in their budgets but Britain's elite athletes hoping to win medals at the Games will not be hit.

"We strongly support the safeguarding of funding to the National Governing Bodies of Olympic sports and elite athletes through a combination of exchequer and lottery funding," British Olympic Association (BOA) chairman Colin Moynihan said in a statement.

"This funding is critical to the success of Team GB at London 2012."


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