Report highlights Games success

First published in Business Daily

A SEVEN-point plan showing why the London 2012 Games ran smoothly has been published.

The idea behind the Government-commissioned report - Making the Games - is that Whitehall needs to learn from its successes as well as its failures.

Given Britain's track record for failure on high-profile large-scale projects - such as the Millennium Dome, Wembley Stadium and the bid for the 2015 World Athletics Championships - many had reason to believe that London 2012 would be the same.

Sceptics immediately had to be won over as the starting point for London 2012 was the failed bids in the previous decade by Manchester and Birmingham to host the Games.

There was also the "unfeasibly low budget at the time for the bid which augured poorly for the finances of the Games", the Institute for Government report stated.

It took two years to settle a new public sector funding package of £9.3 billion compared with the £4.1 billion assumption at bid time, and the widely cited public figure of £2.3 billion.

The final costs have come in £300 million under the £9.3 billion. The "generous" £2.247 billion built in to the project was crucial in meeting the cost of unforeseen events.

Apart from building the venues and ensuring the transport system could cope with unprecedented numbers of passengers, there were also 70,000 volunteers to recruit and train.

Having British athletes winning medals also helped the event become a success.

Even without the high profile or the hard deadlines, there are 205 other major projects such as High Speed 2 which could benefit from the planning for London 2012, the report said.

© Press Association 2013

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