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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 June 2007, 15:22 GMT 16:22 UK
Olympic land to reimburse lottery
Olympic rings on fire
The initial estimate for staging the Games was 2.35bn
Profit from land bought for the 2012 London Olympics will reimburse National Lottery funds which are helping to pay for the Games, the government has said.

An extra 675m of lottery funds has helped cover the Olympics' 9.35bn budget, which has risen from 2.35bn.

Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell said sales of the 312 hectares of Olympic Park land in Stratford, east London, would help pay that back after 2012.

It would be "a good deal" for the lottery and for London, she said.

The government has been criticised by arts charities, community groups and Conservative politicians for "raiding" lottery money to fund the Olympics.

Currently 1 in every 5 of lottery money spent on good causes is going towards the Olympics.

'Real confidence'

Ms Jowell lodged a new funding plan, agreed with London Mayor Ken Livingstone, in Parliament on Wednesday.

After the Olympics, profits from the sale of the Olympic Park land will initially reimburse London Development Agency (LDA) land acquisition costs and disturbance compensation costs, estimated at up to 650m. Further profit will be used to repay lottery funds.

The LDA predicted the land would be sold for up to 800m after the Olympics.

It is only right that the Lottery Good Causes should share in the fruits of that investment
Olympic Lottery Distributor chair Janet Paraskeva

However Mr Livingstone said that, based on an annual 20% increase in London land values over the past decade, he was confident the land would be worth 2bn after 2012.

Ms Jowell said the new funding plan "should give lottery distributors real confidence that the additional funding necessary for a successful Olympic and Paralympic Games will be repaid - providing them and the whole country with a further 2012 dividend".

Janet Paraskeva, chair of the Olympic Lottery Distributor, welcomed the prospect of "significant repayments" to the lottery fund.

"Lottery players are being asked to contribute significant sums to the Olympics," she said.

"It is only right that the Lottery Good Causes should share in the fruits of that investment."

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