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Private cash sought for 2012 wrap revival

Talks are under way with companies to try to find private funding to bring back the giant fabric wrap for the Populous-designed Olympic Stadium.

Plans for the 900m-long curtain, designed to display moving images and to help minimise crosswinds inside the stadium, were dropped to make £7 million of savings as part of last year’s Government spending review (October 2010).

A tendering process has identified interest in sponsoring the wrap, according to Olympics Minister Hugh Robertson, who admitted he quite liked the current look of the naked £486 million showpiece Olympic Stadium.

He said: ‘It is purely a personal thing but I quite like it without [the wrap]. I quite like the architecture like that, but if you ask me, [a resurrection of the skin]is more likely than not.’

London 2012 has been through a tendering exercise which has sparked further negotiations that are still under way.

No details about who or how many companies may be interested in the funding the wrap were given.

Layered sections of Olympic stadium

Layering: The different sections of the Olympic stadium design

Postscript (13.05.11)

Building work at the Olympic Park is now 83 per cent complete, Olympics Minister Hugh Robertson has said.

The 7,000-capacity handball arena has became the latest venue to be finished and the basketball venue is nearing completion.

The handball arena, in the west of the Olympic Park, complete with 3,000 square metres of external copper cladding, is where handball, goalball and modern pentathlon will take place during the Games. It is due to become a multi-use sports centre for community use and athlete training after the Games.

The basketball arena, billed as one of the largest temporary venues built for any Games, will stage the basketball, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby and the final stages of the handball competition in front of up to 12,000 spectators.

The public sector funding package for the Games has stayed at £9.298 billion but the estimated costs for the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), in charge of Olympic build and infrastructure, has been cut by £35 million to £7.266 billion.

This is due to a combination of further savings and reducing risks this year, according to the Government Olympic Executive’s Quarterly report on preparations for the London 2012 Games.

In a written ministerial statement Mr Robertson said the ODA had made “strong progress” adding: “We continue to seek value for money and cost savings in our day-to-day running of the project.”

More than 240 British businesses have won contracts for the construction of the 80,000-seat £486 million Olympic Stadium and more than 5,250 people have worked on the project during the last three years.

The last piece of turf on the stadium’s field of play was laid in March and the 6,000-seat velodrome was unveiled in February.

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