… as external works go three times over budget

The design for the Olympic stadium has been further delayed as it emerged this week that the budget for the project’s external works had tripled.

A source close to the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) said: “On some of the external works there is considerable disparity between what the budget is and what it needs to be.”

This disparity means that the finalisation of the stadium design has been held up while the teams reach an agreement on specification and scope.

David Higgins, the ODA’s chief executive, said last November that the design would be completed in January this year.

The external works programme involves all the space outside the seated area, including services, refreshments and utilities. It also includes areas outside the stadium, such as public spaces, landscaping and roads.

This works programme accounts for about 10% of the main stadium project, which is predicted to cost about £600m.

The latest setback casts doubt on the ODA’s claims that it will meet the overall £9.3bn budget for the Olympics, which has a further 20% contingency.

We are on track and will not apologise for taking time to plan this project well


Some of the external works fall within the responsibility of the stadium consortium, led by Sir Robert McAlpine, and some will be undertaken by the EDAW consortium that is masterplanning the Olympic park.

This is not the first budgetary problem to hit the stadium – Building revealed in February that its designs were being scaled back because of fears over cost.

The ODA said: “The stadium is a unique design and engineering challenge. We are on track and will not apologise for taking time to plan this project well.”

Meanwhile, Israeli designer Ron Arad is among the shortlisted firms for a footbridge in the centre of the Olympic park.

The six shortlisted teams are:

  • McDowell + Benedetti, Jane Wernick Associates, Craft Pegg and Sutton Vane Associates
  • Hparc architects and Adams Kara Taylor engineers
  • Ron Arad Associated, Buro Happold and BBUK Studio
  • Softroom and Eckersley O’Callaghan
  • Future Systems and Adams Kara Taylor
  • Tonkin Liu, Atelier One, Grant Associates and BDP Sustainability.