Government departments are examining the merits of a London bid for the 2012 Olympic Games.
Government departments were this week ordered to scrutinise plans for London to host the 2012 Olympics, following the success of the Commonwealth Games in Manchester.

Departments across Whitehall have been told to examine a report by consultant Arup that endorses a bid for the Olympic Games. The government is still jumpy about such a venture after last year's collapse of the Picketts Lock stadium project in north-east London. This cost London the chance of hosting the 2005 World Athletics Championships.

Despite being a co-sponsor of the 225-page report, the government intends to check its findings to ensure the regeneration benefits will outweigh the costs.

A source close to the report said: "The government is undertaking a detailed report in all relevant departments. Some were party to talks when it was drawn up, others were not. The other thing is to review the winnability of a bid."

The Treasury and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport were the principal clients when the report was drawn up earlier this year. However, associated infrastructure and regeneration costs and benefits mean that departments including trade and industry, transport and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister are keen to add their views.

A spokesperson for the DCMS, which will receive the comments of other departments, said: "We received the Arup report in July and it is doing the rounds of departments."

A study into the feasibility of providing transport, accommodation and airport facilities is being drawn up by an independent consultant.

This will be handed to the government's performance innovation unit next month. It will include a review of whether London will have enough three-star hotel rooms to meet International Olympic Committee standards.

We received the Arup report in July and it is doing the rounds

Culture, media and sport official

The London Development Agency and the British Olympic Association – another co-sponsor of the Arup report – are also providing research. An LDA spokesperson said: "The LDA is doing additional work on land issues, such as land assembly."

Land in Stratford, east London, has been earmarked for a stadium and village for the competitors.

The British Olympic Association is behind another study assessing the likelihood of a successful bid. It is understood to be evaluating the strength of probable bids from cities such as San Francisco, Washington and Moscow.

The Arup report, details of which were first revealed in Building earlier this year (12 April, page 11), remains the most significant document backing a bid.

A summary is expected to be released in the next two months, before the November deadline for initial expressions of interest in bidding.

The number of reports being drawn up means that the government is unlikely to decide whether it will support an application until January. However, London mayor Ken Livingstone has already enthusiastically endorsed the possibility of bidding.

The £400,000 Arup report recommended holding gymnastics events in the Millennium Dome and the football finals in the proposed national stadium at Wembley in north-west London.