Friday 18 April 2014

€95m cost of Lough Erne G8 revealed

Police officers gather next to armoured land rovers in Enniskillen, in Northern Ireland.  REUTERS/Andrew Winning
Police officers gather next to armoured land rovers in Enniskillen, in Northern Ireland. REUTERS/Andrew Winning

Hosting and securing the G8 summit at Lough Erne in Northern Ireland cost more than €95 million (£80m), the Prime Minister confirmed today.

June's summit, which brought together the world's most powerful leaders to discuss an agenda which included trade, tax and transparency, was described by David Cameron as the "safest G8 summit in memory" with only two arrests amid various peaceful protests.

In a written statement to MPs on the last day of the parliamentary term before Christmas, Mr Cameron said the bulk of the cost was for security - £72 million. A further £10 million was spent on the event itself.

The Prime Minister said: "This cost less in real terms than when the UK hosted the G8 summit at Gleneagles in 2005."

Mr Cameron said the summit ensured that Britain could show off its most westerly town, Enniskillen, to the world and demonstrate Northern Ireland as a "first-class destination for business and tourism".

Broken down, the security costs revealed a direct cost of £40.1 million to the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) for an operation involving 5,000 of its own officers, supplemented by 3,600 from police forces in the rest of the country. Forces from England, Wales and Scotland spent £28.6 million on this mutual aid.

The PSNI received £26 million from the Treasury reserve with the rest coming from the Northern Ireland Executive. Central Government departments paid for officers from other forces to take part in the security operation.

Specialist military support cost £2.5 million, while £640,000 was allocated to national security costs.

In terms of the summit itself, the Lough Erne venue cost £1 million to hire, with another £2.6 million spent on security inside. Some £2.6 million was spent on production and media, £1.5 million was on transport, and £1.3 million on other summit costs.

The accommodation bill came in at £775,000, Mr Cameron said.

The summit costs of £10 million will be divided among 12 Whitehall departments, in a similar way to how the Pope's visit to Britain in 2010 was covered.

Press Association

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