MP calls for early repayment of £425m borrowed to build Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
PUBLISHED: 11:36 21 December 2017
Ministers should repay £425 million borrowed from lottery funds to develop Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park by 2022, the shadow culture minister has said.
Steve Reed warned charities need the money now, and added it will take 30 years for the government to return the cash at the current rate.
The previous Labour government diverted money from the Big Lottery Fund in 2007 to subsidise infrastructure for the 2012 Games, with a promise it would be returned.
The Government earlier this year said that repayments will not start until the “early 2020s”.
Mr Reed said: “Charities are struggling to house the homeless and feed the hungry this Christmas and they need that money now.
“So will the minister spread a little more Christmas cheer, back the Big Lottery Refund campaign and commit to repay the money they owe during this Parliament?”
Sports minister Tracey Crouch replied: “We are committed to repaying the funds that you refer to.
“But I can say we’re working very hard to ensure that our charities across all sectors are well-funded.”
She added a civil society strategy will be launched in the new year.