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When the Olympic stadium in Stratford opens this summer, it will be hailed as a showcase of British design and engineering – with a roof from Bolton and turf from Scunthorpe. As the biggest construction project in Europe, politicians have seized on the Games as a much-needed boost to the UK economy – despite the estimated £11bn (€13.4bn) price tag. Britain’s flagging reputation as a post-industrial powerhouse, combined with Beijing’s unprecedented display of “my-Olympics-is-bigger-than-yours” four short years ago, meant the pressure was on to find…

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