Sunday, 13 March 2011

Games "on track"

Don't worry, everything's fine:

BBC Online

Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games on track - director

Scotstoun is one of the venues that will be used in the 2014 Games

Director Gordon Arthur has responded to claims that Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games has missed deadlines by insisting preparations are "on track."

Recent press reports suggested that milestones in the build-up to the event had not been met.

"We've not missed 50 milestones, we have re-phased," said Arthur.

"We are from the organising committee's planning point of view and the Games partners' delivery of infrastructure programme, in a very good place."

Arthur insisted the organising committee was keen to ensure that public money was being spent responsibly and at the right time.

"We've got huge support from the media right across Scotland," he told BBC Radio Scotland's Sport Nation programme.

"One is always going to get the occasional articles where people take a different stance.

"A year ago, when we put together our business plan, we set out largely based on the guidance that we get from the knowledge transfer system that's run by the Commonwealth Games Federation.

"Remember, we were only about 20 people in the organising committee a year ago. We set out a programme of work, but most of what we've been doing during the year, as well as recruiting people, is understanding better the task that we've got to do and a huge amount of that understanding and knowledge transfer takes you to re-phasing your work.

All the infrastructure build that's going on in Scotland, which is much, much smaller but nevertheless very impressive programme, is absolutely on track
Gordon Arthur

"So we haven't missed milestones, we've re-phased a lot of our work and the reason we do that is to make sure we don't recruit people any earlier than we need to, or spend money any earlier than we need to.

"We're very conscious we're publicly funded in the main and we want to spend that money very, very wisely."

The build-up to the Delhi Games in 2010 was beset with problems in terms of getting facilities ready on time and Arthur admits that the Glasgow organising committee cannot afford to keep "re-phasing" right up until the event itself.

"Clearly that would not be helpful, but it's all about understanding better where we are and what we're doing," added Arthur.

"Since we came back from Delhi, we've done about two thirds of our very detailed functional area strategies.

"We now have a really detailed understanding of the complexity of the programme and all the interdependencies that lie between the different aspects of the programme.

"We are on track, we are on budget and we are very happy, as are the Commonwealth Games Federation, with where we are at this point in time.

"The big challenge Delhi had is they took on an enormous programme of building. It wasn't just the venues, they were building new metro systems, new roads, new railways - it was a colossal programme of infrastructure build they took on.

"All the infrastructure build that's going on in Scotland, which is much, much smaller but nevertheless very impressive programme, is absolutely on track.

"The facilities are largely due to be open two years before the Games and will be used by concerts and sporting events.

"The M74 (extension) is due to open this year. The Airdrie-Bathgate rail line's already open."

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