London 2012 Olympics: budget for ceremonies doubled to over £80m
Prime Minister David Cameron has ordered that more money be spent on London’s Olympic ceremonies after deciding that existing plans risked missing a unique opportunity to promote the UK.
By Paul Kelso, Chief Sports ReporterTelegraph.co.uk Tuesday 17 April 2012
Cameron’s intervention, which will see the cost of the ceremonies double – with the taxpayer contributing a further £41 million to the budget – comes as Parliament’s official spending watchdog, the National Audit Office, warned that London may break its £9.3 billion budget and require more public money.
Cameron ordered the additional spending after he was shown the plans put together by the artistic director, Danny Boyle. It is understood Cameron wanted additional spending to give the ceremonies more creative elements and balance the International Olympic Committee’s protocol requirements, such as the athletes’ parade. Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt and sports minister Hugh Robertson were also party to the decision to order a rethink and inject more money.
Spending in numbers
Increase in venue security costs
Security guards needed – more than double last year’s estimate
Extra public money committed to spending on the opening ceremony
Margin for overspending in total £9.3 bn funding package
Olympic organisers insisted last night that their plans had not been rejected, but refused to say on what the new money, which unlike the original £40 million budget will come from the public purse, would be spent.
Robertson said the bulk of the money would be spent on “technical areas”, and that the intention was to make the most of a “once-in-a-generation” opportunity to promote Britain in the global spotlight.