£650m is final bill for World Student Games

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THE final bill to taxpayers from the World Student Games in Sheffield 20 years ago will be a huge £650m, it has been revealed.

Only £296m of the debt has been repaid so far, and annual repayments of up to £30m will continue to eat into Sheffield Council’s budget until 2024.

The total, which increased dramatically through refinancing processes, is more than four times the original £147m cost of building venues for the 1991 Games.

Although major facilities such as Sheffield Arena and Ponds Forge have proved assets for the city, others have not, with one sports hall already being demolished.

Lib Dem council leader Paul Scriven said: “My job would have been much easier without having to hand over a huge amount of taxpayers’ money each year to cover Labour’s legacy of debt from the World Student Games.”