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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 June 2006, 12:06 GMT 13:06 UK
Ricoh Arena overspend costs 2.9m
Coventry City's Ricoh Arena
In all 2m was spent speeding up building work on the arena
Coventry council tax payers will have to meet the 2.9m overspend costs of building the 113m Ricoh Arena.

Most of the over budget costs were incurred in speeding up building work to meet a revised opening date.

A meeting of the city council on Tuesday is set to approve using council reserves to pay the added costs.

Officials said the arena had brought huge benefits to the city including 2,400 jobs. The cost could be offset by the sale of nearby land worth 5m.

The new home for Coventry City Football Club was originally set to open for the final game of the 2004-05 season in April 2005.

Local jobs

The arena eventually opened three weeks into the start of the following campaign in August 2005 after the first home game of the season was switched to Norwich.

A report, to be considered by councillors on Tuesday, states that 2m was spent to accelerate work to meet the eventual completion date of 19 August.

It states the overspend costs were significantly less than average for developments of such a scale.

Officials said the stadium had produced "huge regeneration benefits" for the city, as it is also used as a concert venue.

Most of the 2,400 jobs created had been filled locally, transport links had been improved and a brownfield site regenerated.

The costs of meeting the overrun bill could be further offset by the sale of land next to the arena, which could be worth up to 5m.

The report said the council is still pursuing plans to build a railway station for the stadium which was abandoned after the Strategic Rail Authority refused permission.




SEE ALSO
Fresh call for football rail link
14 Mar 06 |  Coventry/Warwickshire
Rail link plea for club's stadium
11 Nov 05 |  Coventry/Warwickshire
Club's first game at new stadium
20 Aug 05 |  Coventry/Warwickshire
Park and walk scheme for stadium
01 Aug 05 |  Coventry/Warwickshire

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