Newspapers reflect on the IOC's visit to Britain's Olympic sites and a government announcement on Crossrail funding is anticipated tomorrow.
The impact of the International Olympic Committee’s visit to London last week provided food for thought for the commentators in this weekend’s papers. In the Independent on Sunday, Christopher Walker considered the benefits of hosting the 2012 Games, and wondered why we needed a sporting event to get the regeneration of east London, create low-cost accommodation and improve transport links.
There’s more sport in The Observer, with news of a cash-crisis at the Football Association that threatens the £30 million National Football Centre, the training complex proposed for Burton-on-Trent. Construction work at the centre, which should have opened in 2003, was halted last year when concern about its financing first arose. It is now expected that plans will be severely downgraded before work recommences.
The Sunday Telegraph predicts that transport secretary Alistair Darling will confirm tomorrow that the government will partly fund the £10 billion cost of building Crossrail. It says there will be a period of consultation during the summer to source other funding from the private sector and local government.
Elsewhere in the Sunday Telegraph the news that estate agencies are closing at three times the rate they were six months ago, a more telling sign about the overall state of the market than the much-analysed quarterly average sale prices. It said that sellers were being naïve about asking prices, and ignoring the realities of a slowing market.
Meanwhile in the Business, there is a glimmer of hope – the paper reports that while residential sales are uninspiring, the commercial sector is still buoyant, with hotels, care-comes performing particularly well, with 2004 increases in value of 11% and 17% respectively.