Sunday, 23 May 2010 "2014 budget now over half-a-billion pounds"

Glasgow 2014 budget now over half-a-billion pounds

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May 22 - Hosting the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow is now predicted to cost more than half a billion pounds, it has been revealed.

A revised balance sheet has put the final total for Glasgow 2014 at more than £523 million ($757 million), more than £150 million ($217 million) over the original bid estimate.

The new figure, which represents the latest in a series of cost increases, was put down to inflation forecasts in the years leading up to the event.

Only six months ago, officials confirmed the budget had risen by £81 million ($117 million) to £454 million ($657 million) as a result of rising broadcasting and legislative costs.

The new figure adds a further £69m ($100 million) to the total.

But John Scott, the chief executive of Glasgow 2014, claimed that the budget remained within what they had originally announced last November.

He said: "The Glasgow 2014 budget remains at £454 million ($657 million) at 2007 prices as announced last November at the budget review.

"As part of the expected follow-up of that review, we have now calculated the projected inflation for each year up to 2014-15.

"The project remains on-budget and on-track to deliver an outstanding Games."

Under the revised budget, the overall operations costs now stand at £193 million ($280 million), with staffing costs in the region of £72 million ($104 million).

The Games will also spend £50 million ($77 million) on communications, and £17 million ($24 million) on marketing and sponsorship.

The Scottish Government is contributing £344 million ($498 million) to Glasgow 2014 with the remainder coming from Glasgow City Council, who are putting in £80 million ($116 million), and commercial income of £100 million ($145 million) raised by the organising committee.

Scott said: "The last 18 months have seen the most significant change to the economy in more than 70 years.

"We now face the challenge of delivering the Commonwealth Games that our Games partners expect during a period of slow recovery from a major economic downturn, with pressure on all public sector and commercial funding budgets."

Shona Robison, Scotland's Minister for Public Health and Sport, said: "The impact of inflation over the next five years does not change the Games budget nor the determination of all those involved to work within that budget."

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