Olympics £377m under budget
The cost of the London 2012 Games has come in at £377million under budget, according to Government figures released on Tuesday.
The overall cost of the Games is forecast at £8.921billion from a budget of £9.298billion.
With some contracts still to be wound up after the end of the Games, ministers are describing the underspend as a "prudent" estimate.
Sports minister Hugh Robertson said: "The work of the construction and delivery teams, from the ODA (Olympic Delivery Authority) and Locog (London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games), has set a very high standard and I have no doubt that London 2012 has set a new benchmark for the management of Olympic and Paralympic Games in future."
Talks are also still ongoing between the London 2012 organisers and G4S to get the security firm to pay back money for its failure to provide enough security guards for the Games.
In addition, £480million of uncommitted contingency still remains within the budget.
Robertson said: "There are projected savings of at least £377million so the predictions that I made this summer that we could bring this project in at under £9billion has almost certainly been met.
"The £377million figure is conservative because there are lumps of contingency that are still attached to the outstanding work.
"Locog also have to conclude, and we have to sign off, the negotiations with G4S over the size of the amount of money that will be paid back to the public purse - so if you were to add to that £377million anything that will not be used but is held against outstanding work and anything that might come back from G4S, it is entirely reasonable to expect that figure to rise."
Some £103million of contingency is being held to cover the remaining risks in the programme. These include the retrofit of the Olympic Village to get it ready for use when it reopens after the Games.
The ODA, which has been in charge of the Olympic build, is set to take over the Olympic village to begin transforming the 2,818 apartments and houses into a new community called East Village.
The London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) is now in operational control of the Olympic Park and a £292million construction project will take place at the site, set to open in phases as the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park from July 2013.
The whole Park should be open by spring 2014.
The aquatics centre, the velodrome and the basketball arena have now been handed over to LLDC with the copper box, where the handball and goalball competitions were held, to follow in November and the Olympic stadium and press and broadcast centres in December.
Dennis Hone, the ODA chief executive and the LLDC's interim chief executive, said: "Once the overlay and games-time elements are removed, we will start to deconstruct the temporary venues, adapt permanent venues for future use, reshape the landscape and retrofit the village into a new community for London.
"This will take some time, but the wait will be worth it. Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will be a fantastic new place to live, work and visit and enjoy.
"This really is an opportunity to create a legacy of the type we have never seen before."
The ODA's construction and transport programme has come in at £6.714billion, according to the estimates. This is a drop of £47million on the previous estimate, meaning the savings made by the ODA are now at £1.032billion.
Meanwhile, Lord Coe made a direct pitch to coalition ministers on Tuesday for help shoring up the UK's Olympic legacy.
The peer, who is expected to be confirmed as the new chairman of the British Olympic Association next month, attended Cabinet at Number 10 to make sure ministers are "engaged in the way they need to be".
Prime Minister David Cameron made the former Tory MP a "legacy ambassador" to boost UK sport in the wake of the successful Olympics and Paralympics.
The Prime Minister's spokesman said it was "always part of the planning" that the Games would be used to improve participation in sport and change attitudes to disability.
He said: "Lord Coe said the legacy challenge was, in many ways, the biggest challenge of the Games project.
"He said he was delighted the Government had picked up this issue so quickly. A lot has already happened but we need to continue to work at it to make sure there is an effective legacy.
"It was an opportunity for him to hear the thoughts of the Cabinet.
"Clearly, this is an issue that cuts across many departments and already lots of departments are working on aspects. One issue is participation in sport."
Lord Coe will report progress to the Prime Minister four times a year.
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