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Volume 491: debated on Monday 20 April 2009

1. What her latest estimate is of expenditure on the London 2012 Olympics, and if she will make a statement. (269375)

The estimate of public expenditure on the London 2012 games remains within the £9.325 billion package that I announced in March 2007.

I thank the Minister for that answer. Now that the Olympic Delivery Authority has decided that Woolwich is to be the site for shooting events at the Olympics, will she arrange for the KPMG report on the venues to be published in full? I know that it has been published, but only with all the rather interesting financial information missed out, and British shooting does not feel that it has been given a fair crack of the whip. Will she therefore arrange for that report to be published in full and placed in the Library of the House?

The hon. Gentleman will be aware that I met the advocates for the Bisley case very particularly, as I also met the advocates for other venues, and the Olympic Board confirmed its decision at its last meeting. It is certainly my intention to publish the KPMG report once the issues of commercial sensitivity have passed and the relevant negotiations have been completed.

What reassurance can my right hon. Friend give that at least some of that expenditure will positively aid the regeneration of the Olympic boroughs?

The reassurance that I can give my hon. Friend is that of the ODA’s baseline budget of £6.1 billion, plus the provision for £2 billion for contingencies—so far, 20 per cent. has been allocated from both sources of contingency funding—75p in every pound spent is spent on regeneration: on the physical regeneration of the area. She will be aware of the enormous efforts that we are making, of which she has been such a powerful advocate, to make sure that in the post-Olympic period the east London boroughs, one of which she represents, have a higher level of skill and more people in work than before the Olympics.

On the subject of shooting, we all know that one of the factors in choosing Woolwich was cost, so will the Minister today tell us the cost estimate for staging the shooting at Woolwich, and for staging it at Bisley?

No, not today; I shall do so once the negotiations, which are inevitably sensitive, are concluded. I know of the hon. Gentleman’s great concerns about Bisley, and his advocacy for it. He will understand that there were two factors that led the Olympic Board to conclude that Woolwich should be the preferred venue for shooting. The first was on the grounds of cost, to which he referred. The second was certainty, the judgment being that, at this stage, Bisley simply involved too much risk, in terms of delivering an acceptable venue.

Is the Minister aware that the way in which large amounts of public money—£500 million, I believe—have been distributed by UK Sport through the governing bodies of sports is threatening the viability of state-of-the-art facilities in places such as Gateshead stadium? Will she look into that? Will she assure the House that the way in which money is distributed will not threaten the future of facilities such as those in Gateshead stadium, and that the preparation for the Olympics will, as she has said in the past, benefit all regions?

I thank my hon. Friend for his question. I know that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport will have been listening to his concern. My hon. Friend will also be aware of the benefit being brought to venues around the country from their designated status as potential training-camp venues. I am sure that he will be a powerful advocate for the venues in his region that have been so designated.

The European Investment Bank website has revealed that an application for a £255 million loan for the athletes’ village was lodged in February and approved on 7 April. Given that this is the first that many of us have heard of the matter, is the Minister able to throw some more light on the subject today? In particular, will she tell us at what interest rate the loan was agreed, what conditions govern that loan, and what their effect will be on the Olympic balance sheet?

The European Investment Bank has certainly given in-principle agreement to a loan in two parts. Part of it would assist with the financing of the social housing; the other part would assist with the financing of the Olympic village. The hon. Gentleman will know, because of the transparency in the financial briefing of the Opposition parties, of the background to that, and of the negotiation with the private sector partners. Obviously, once a decision has been taken about how much of that loan facility will be taken up and applied to those two projects, I will make a statement to the House.