London 2012August 22nd, 2011 | Editorial | 1 Comment »
The 2012 Summer Olympic development is a process running from 2005 to 2012, following the successful London bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics. While many of the plans were included in the bid portfolio, which gained the favour of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) over the four other bids on 6 July 2005, there were more details released and decisions made afterwards. The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) was created to oversee many of these developments, though such a large-scale event requires the co-operation of many other agencies. These organisations are sometimes integral parts of the London 2012 plans, while others are unrelated but can still have a great effect.
The day after the announcement saw one of the worst terrorist attacks in Britain, as London was struck by four bomb blasts. While the motivation was not linked specifically to the success of the bid it was to have an effect on the development and planning of the event.
The British Government plans to spend £800 million on infrastructure improvements on the Lower Lea Valley. This is not included in the Olympic budget. The total cost of public transport costs relevant to the Games is estimated at £7 billion, but most of these projects would probably have happened in any case, though much later.
The 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will use a mixture of new venues, existing and historic facilities, and temporary facilities, some of them in well-known locations such as Hyde Park and Horse Guards Parade. In the wake of the problems that plagued the Millennium Dome, the organisers’ intention is that there will be no white elephants after the Games and instead that a “2012 legacy” will be delivered. Some of the new facilities will be reused in their Olympic form, while others, including the 80,000 seater main stadium, will be reduced in size or relocated elsewhere in the UK. The plans are part of the regeneration of Stratford in east London which will be the site of the Olympic Park, and of the neighbouring Lower Lea Valley.
This has required the compulsory purchase of some business properties, which are being demolished to make way for Olympic venues and infrastructure improvements. This has caused some controversy, with some of the affected proprietors claiming that the compensation offered is inadequate. In addition, concerns about the development’s potential impact on the future of the century-old Manor Garden Allotments have inspired a community campaign, and the demolition of the Clays Lane housing estate was opposed by tenants.
The majority of venues have been divided into three zones within Greater London: the Olympic Zone, the River Zone and the Central Zone. In addition to these are those venues that, by necessity, are outside the boundaries of Greater London, such as the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy on the Isle of Portland in Dorset which will host the sailing events, some 125 miles (200 km) southwest of the Olympic Park. The football tournament will be staged at several grounds around the UK.
The costs of mounting the Games are separate from those for building the venues and infrastructure, and redeveloping the land for the Olympic Park. While the Games are privately funded, the venues and Park costs are met largely by public money. On 15 March 2007 Tessa Jowell announced to the House of Commons a budget of £5.3 billion to cover building the venues and infrastructure for the Games, at the same time announcing the wider regeneration budget for the Lower Lea Valley budget at £1.7 billion. On top of this, she announced various other costs including an overall additional contingency fund of £2.7 billion, security and policing costs of £600 million, VAT of £800 million and elite sport and Paralympic funding of nearly £400 million. According to these figures, the total for the Games and the regeneration of the East London area, is £9.345 billion. Then Mayor Ken Livingstone pledged the Games Organising Committee would make a profit.
The costs for staging the Games (£2 billion) are funded from the private sector by a combination of sponsorship, merchandising, ticketing and broadcast rights. This budget is raised and managed by the London 2012 Organising Committee. According to Games organisers, the funding for this budget broadly breaks down as: 64% from Central Government, 23% from National Lottery and 13% from the Mayor of London and the London Development Agency.
Read more on London 2012, BBC – London 2012, Olympic.org – London 2012, Guardian.co.uk – London 2012, Wikipedia 2012 Summer Olympic development and Wikipedia 2012 Summer Olympics.
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