Contingency funding has been set aside for construction of the Olympic stadium in the event of cost overruns, the Olympic Delivery Authority said yesterday as London 2012 organisers unveiled the design for the centrepiece of the games. Financial Times.

The stadium will cost an estimated £496m, and work will begin three months earlier than planned in the spring, said John Armitt, the ODA chairman. '£500m is a lot of money, and we are determined to work within it,' Mr Armitt said. 'If there is the requirement for extra, we have a contingency within the overall scheme of things.'

The original £2.4bn estimate for staging the games has now climbed to £9.3bn. That includes a contingency fund of £2.7bn.