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More Olympic Bailouts

2009 January 22
by Skip Sauer

From The Times:

Ministers have approved a £461 million public bail-out of the London Olympics after private investment in two of the biggest venues on the East London site failed to materialise.

It will be used to pay for ongoing construction of the £900 million Athletes’ Village and a £355 million media centre, which is now a fully nationalised project. Both were due to run out of money in March after the credit crisis and falling property prices scared off commercial backers.

…The £461 million released today breaks down to £326 million for the Village, which will be turned into up to 3,000 homes after the Games, and £135 million for the media centre, which will be converted into office space.

It is likely that the taxpayer will have to cover the full cost of building the Village as well as the media centre. Ministers hope to recoup the money by selling off the flats and offices from 2013. Up to half the flats will be affordable housing and could be funded by registered social landlords.

Registered social landlords? These seem likely, to me at least, to be a drain on the public purse for decades.

Part of a continuing series. EclectEcon predicted this at TSE three years ago! No doubt we’ll see more.

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