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400,000+ readers leisure opportunities 9 December – 15 December 2011 ISSUE 569 Daily news & jobs: NAO in 2012 Games cost warning

The National Audit Office (NAO) has warned there is a “real risk” that more public money may be needed to fund the 2012 London Games. In its latest progress report,

the NAO found that nearly the entire £9.298bn budget will be required, with little scope to cover any unforeseen costs. Te study welcomed “good

progress” in almost all main areas but identified challenges relating to the provision of security and “some elements” of transport planning. NAO head Amyas Morse

said: “The programme to deliver the venues and infra- structure for the 2012 Games remains on course, so it looks as if value for money will be achieved in this area. “But, in my view, the likelihood that the

Games can still be funded within the exist- ing £9.3bn public sector funding package is so

Multi-sports facility launches in Birtley

Birtley Young People’s Club, a new £1.2m multi-sports facility in Tyne and Wear, which received more than £573,000 of National Lottery funding, has now opened. Te complex includes facilities for

boxing, judo and football and secured the cash as part of Sport England’s Iconic Facilities fund to establish a legacy from the 2012 Games. Two gyms; three boxing rings; two

junior grass pitches; and office and classroom space are on offer at the new Birtley centre, in addition to an education/conference room.


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Te report said nearly the entire public sector budget will be needed

finely balanced that there is a real risk more money will be needed.” Te publication of the NAO’s report came

a day aſter a government report into prepara- tions for the 2012 Games said the event will be delivered “on time and within budget”.

Lenders move in on Battersea owner

A planned £5.5bn redevelopment of London’s Battersea Power Station site has been thrown into doubt aſter lenders applied for its holding company to be placed into administration. Lloyds Banking Group and Ireland-based

National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) are now poised to take control of the site, with a court hearing to take place on 12 December. Battersea Power Station Shareholder Vehicle

(BPS) was set up in April “for the purposes of restructuring”, but is now facing a demand for repayment totalling more than £500m. Real Estate Opportunities (REO) owns 54

per cent of BPS and said in a statement that “certain subsidiaries” of the holding company

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Te ex-industrial site again faces an uncertain future

were not able to “satisfy those demands”. It had been reported that REO had failed to secure a development partner, with Chelsea Football Club now thought to be eyeing the site for a potential stadium scheme (see page 3).

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Edinburgh Zoo will host the pandas for 10 years

Giant pandas arrive at Edinburgh Zoo

Te Royal Zoological Society of Scotland has announced that two breeding giant pandas, Tian Tian and Yang Guang, have arrived at Edinburgh Zoo from China. Edinburgh Zoo is home to the pandas for

the next 10 years under an agreement with China Wildlife Conservation Association, which visited the city in October. Te zoo will also be working alongside

national tourism agency VisitScotland on a number of promotions that will help create “money-can’t-buy experiences” relating to the giant pandas’ arrival in Edinburgh.

image: rob mcdougall

image: anthony charlton/oda

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