Stanton Williams emerges as favourite for Eton Manor as MPs slam spiralling 2012 budget

Stanton Williams has emerged as the frontrunner for the last significant design contract for the 2012 Olympic Games.

The architect, which designed the first phase of the £2bn King’s Cross masterplan, is understood to have nosed ahead of Adjaye Associates, Bennetts Associates and David Morley Architects in the competition to design Eton Manor, a cluster of venues at the north end of the Olympic park that will host Paralympic archery and tennis events. They will be converted to tennis and hockey centres after the Games.

A budget for the work has not yet been confirmed.

The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) refused to confirm the appointment of Stanton Williams to the Eton Manor project, but said it expected to make an announcement shortly.

Architects Opus International, S&P and Sports Concepts are also on the shortlist.

The news comes as a parliamentary spending watchdog this week criticised the rising budget of the Games.

A report by the House of Commons’ Public Accounts Committee said the rise from an initial estimate of £4bn to the present figure of £9.3bn was “astonishing”.

The committee said £748m had been added to the cost by uncertainty over the role of private sector contributions. The Olympic village, for example, was to have been funded entirely by the private sector, but will now receive £175m of public funding.

The report also said the ODA should not shy away from getting rid of unruly contractors, recommending “early warning arrangements” to identify and resolve problems with firms.