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Video: Hadid busts Olympic budget

The cost of Zaha Hadid’s Aquatic Centre for 2012 Games has increased by 37 million since November 2007, a government report into the ballooning Olympic venue budget has revealed

Issued by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Annual Report for the 2012 Olympic Games blamed the increase on the new pedestrian footbridge, which will form part of the centre’s roof structure (see video below), and the resulting contract price negotiations ‘reflecting the development of the design’, as well as ‘the lack of competitive tension in the procurement’.

The pricetag for the Aquatic Centre now stands at 251 million – almost 175 million more than the estimated cost of the swimming and diving arena when it was first unveiled nearly four years ago.

Meanwhile, the complicated foundations and ground conditions at the Hopkins-designed velodrome site have been blamed for its bigger budget, which has rocketed from 25 million to 105 million.

Also according to the report, the HOK/Robert McAlpine stadium will now cost 547 million – up 22 million. The combined cost of the Media Centre and Olympic Village has increased by 225 million to 846 million. The total cost of the games now stands at 7.5 billion.

The government said cost savings were being made to help offset the increases and that the budget overruns would be covered by the contingency fund. Some of the savings have come from the reduced cost of site preparation, transport and other park-wide projects.

Rumours regarding the post-Olympic legacy, another major sticking point for the Games, have emerged that the stadium will be transformed into a sports-themed school. The original plans were to convert the 80,000-seat stadium into a 25,000 set athletics venue, but now it is understood that the area under the seating will become a ‘studio school’.

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