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Target Pistol Shooting

Volume 478: debated on Monday 23 June 2008

The Royal Artillery Barracks at Woolwich has been designated as the venue for all the shooting competitions at the 2012 games, including target pistol shooting. The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Olympic Delivery Authority are currently developing their plans for the facilities at Woolwich.

As an enthusiastic supporter of the Olympic games coming to London, I am increasingly worried about the state of the British economy. Will the Minister now explain how she can justify having this competition in a temporary building in Woolwich at a cost of £28 million, which is against the Olympic charter of a lasting legacy, when the competition could easily be held at the headquarters in Bisley?

First, the cost that the hon. Gentleman refers to has not been confirmed. Secondly, yes, the venue at Woolwich will be temporary, but the intention is that the facilities will be relocated in other parts of the country. Part of the commitment to holding down costs and living within the Olympic budget is the need to strike a proper balance between temporary venues, which the Olympic park will include, and the permanent venues that will provide a lasting legacy.

The target pistol shooters will of course be housed with the other athletes in the Olympic village, for which the private sector financing deal is now in some difficulty. Last week, I saw some Olympic Delivery Authority figures: £450 million from the private sector and £550 million from the ODA for that facility. However, my understanding is that the baseline contribution of the ODA in the budget is only £300 million, with the balance—of up to £1.5 billion, not £1 billion—to be provided from the private sector and other contributions. Can my right hon. Friend shed some light on the discrepancies in these figures?

With respect to my hon. Friend, I think that he might be referring to the figures for the Olympic village, not the figures for target pistol shooting, which have not been published. The figures for the Olympic village have been subject to some coverage. They have been fully disclosed at this stage to the National Audit Office and are on the public record. The important thing is that the deal is a matter for commercial negotiation and as such, it is not right nor possible—neither is it the best way to protect taxpayers’ money—to make every step of the negotiations available. However, in the spirit of the cross-party running of the games, I have shared the information in real time with Opposition spokesmen and the Select Committee.