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ODA admits raiding Olympic contingency fund

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The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) has admitted raiding £95 million of the London 2012 Games’ £2.2 billion contingency fund to start work on the Athletes' Village.

Last week, the ODA and developer Lend Lease unveiled the latest images of the village, and gave a progress update on the piling work that started back in June.

The move to crack open the contingency fund came after Lend Lease failed to raise its half of the £1 billion needed, due to the credit crunch.

A spokesman for the ODA said: 'Work on the village continues on schedule and piling has been completed on the first three blocks.

‘£95 million of interim funding has been allocated to the ODA from contingency to enable building to progress.’

He added: 'Discussions on long-term funding arrangements are continuing in what is clearly a very difficult economic environment.’

It is understood that a meeting has been set up between the ODA and Lend Lease at the end of the year to make a decision on the funding.

ODA chairman John Armitt has already admitted that the government could be forced to fund the entire £1 billion, unless the liquidity crisis in the financial markets improves.

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