London

London 2012 Olympic Park building work 83% complete‎

View from the Parkland area in the Olympic Park
Image caption Public sector funding for the Games has stayed at £9.3bn

Construction of the Olympic Park in east London is 83% complete, Olympics Minister Hugh Robertson has said.

The handball arena, which will seat 7,000 people, has become the latest venue to be finished.

In addition to handball, goalball and modern pentathlon will take place at the handball arena, which has 3,000 sq m of external copper cladding.

It is due to become a multi-use sports centre for athletics training and community use after the 2012 Games.

The basketball venue, billed as one of the largest temporary venues built for any Olympics, is nearing completion.

As well as basketball, the 12,000-capacity venue will stage wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby and the final stages of the handball competition.

The public sector funding package for the Games has stayed at £9.3bn.

However, the estimated costs for the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), in charge of Olympic building and infrastructure, has been cut by £35m to £7.27bn.

Mr Robertson said the ODA had made "strong progress".

"We continue to seek value for money and cost savings in our day-to-day running of the project," he added.

The 6,000-seat velodrome was unveiled in February, while the last piece of turf on the stadium's field was laid in March.

Fabric wrap

Meanwhile, talks were under way with companies to try to find private funding to bring back the giant fabric wrap for the Olympic Stadium.

Plans for the 900m (984 yards) long curtain, designed to minimise crosswinds inside the stadium and display moving images, were dropped to make £7m of savings as part of 2010's government spending review.

But Mr Robertson said he quite liked the current look of the naked £486m showpiece Olympic Stadium.

"It is purely a personal thing but I quite like it without. I quite like the architecture like that, but if you ask me, it is more likely than not," he said.

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