Preparations for the 2012 London Olympics remain on schedule and within budget despite a slight increase in the projected final cost of the multi-billion-pound (dollar) project, the British government said Thursday.
In its latest quarterly report on the Olympic budget, the government cited a 5 million pound ($7.2 million) rise in the projected bill because of potential increases in transportation and infrastructure costs.
The figure represents an increase of less than 0.1 percent in Olympic Delivery Authority spending from 7.262 billion pounds ($10.45 billion) to 7.267 billion pounds ($10.46 billion).
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport said the increase would be evened out by savings in other areas and reduction in risk-related costs.
The report said the Olympics remain within the overall public sector budget of 9.3 billion pounds ($13.3 billion) and that more than 65 percent of the venues and infrastructure have already been completed.
"This update shows that during the busiest and most challenging year of construction, the project remains right on track and within budget," Sports and Olympics Minister Hugh Robertson said.
The project centers on development of an Olympic Park in the Stratford area of east London, turning a once-disused industrial zone into a new neighborhood featuring an 80,000-seat stadium and other sports facilities, as well as an athletes' village that will be turned into residential housing after the games.
Organizers announced Thursday that work had finished on the rowing and canoe sprint venue at Eton College Rowing Center at Dorney Lake near Windsor, west of London. It's the second venue to be completed after the sailing facilities were finished two years ago.
The ODA, the body responsible for building the venues and infrastructure for the games, has saved about 130 million ($187 million) in the last quarter and a total of 600 million ($863 million) since the budget was set in November 2007, the report said.
The government has so far released 790 million pounds ($1.1 billion) in contingency funds from the Olympic budget, leaving about 1.2 billion ($1.7 billion) in reserve _ "more than the value of assessed risks," the report said.
The report covers the period from January to March, before the 27 million pounds ($38 million) in Olympic budget cuts announced Monday by Britain's new coalition government.
Robertson said those cuts "will be achieved without compromising the project."
The report said Olympic organizers have met all their targets so far, including completion of the external structure of the main stadium, the lowering into place of the roof on the velodrome and construction of the three concrete pools at the aquatics center.
About 10,000 people are currently working on the Olympic Park and athletes' village, one of the biggest construction sites in Europe.
The ODA budget is separate from the privately-financed 2 billion pound ($2.9 billion) operating budget of the London organizing committee headed by Sebastian Coe. The committee has secured 1.3 billion pounds ($1.8 billion) of its revenue so far, including more than 600 million ($863 million) from domestic sponsors. The rest will be raised from ticket sales, merchandising and licensing.