The Calgary City Council have provided further funding towards a potential Olympic bid ©Wikipedia

Calgary's City Council have opted to provide an additional CAD$2 million (£1.2 million/$1.5 million/€1.3 million) to continue assessing a potential bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics.

The officials had voted in favour of continuing to explore a bid last week, and have now voted 9-4 in favour of providing the additional funding.

Half of the total will be immediately released, with the second portion set to be provided in federal and provincial partners join the project by January.

“This is going to be a mutual decision between the three orders of government on whether or not to move forward,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi, according to The Calgary Herald.

“It’s not our intent to be bullying about this whole thing, but the timelines are the timelines.”

A total of CAD$5 million (£3 million/$4 million/€3.5 million) was provided to form the Canadian city's Bid Exploration Committee (CBEC) last year.

It had been claimed that without the additional funding, the exploration of a bid would have effectively been over.

A report issued last month predicted that staging the event would cost about CAD$4.6 billion (£2.8 billion/$3.6 billion/€3.2 billion).

It is estimated that over half of this would be covered through public money.

The vote means a bid committee will be established at the start of 2018.

The additional funding is expected to allow the committee to send a delegation to the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics to be part of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Observers programme.

Administrative costs and consultants are also expected to be covered by the additional sum.

Venues in Edmonton and Whistler could be considered should the bid proceed.

Calgary is among cities across five nations currently interested in bidding for the Games in a bidding process reformed by the IOC.

Calgary previously hosted the Winter Olympics in 1988 ©Getty Images
Calgary previously hosted the Winter Olympics in 1988 ©Getty Images

Sion in Switzerland, Sapporo in Japan, Stockholm in Sweden and, possibly, Salt Lake City, Denver or Reno in United States, are also considering mounting bids in a process not due to officially begin until October 2018.

Formal bid books must now be completed by late 2018, however, before being submitted to the IOC in January 2019.

This work is expected to take around a year to compile, meaning that a decision on whether to permanently press ahead must be made soon.

Concerns remain from certain members of the Council, however.

The Council meeting saw debate over two initially confidential reports commissioned by the city.

It is claimed the reports are critical of what hosting the Olympics could do to Canada’s economy.

Innsbruck has already crashed out of the 2026 race after failing a referendum last month.

A similar ballot is expected in most of the cantons involved in the potential Sion bid on June 10 next year.