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2012 Olympics

Volume 447: debated on Wednesday 7 June 2006

6. What discussions he has had with the First Minister on maximising the opportunities for Wales from the 2012 Olympic games. (74943)

My right hon. Friend and I, along with the Welsh Assembly Government, are working to maximise the benefits brought to Wales by the London Olympic and Paralympic games. Wales has many excellent training facilities and will offer a warm welcome to visiting teams and their supporters, and I am delighted that the Millennium stadium in Cardiff will host part of the Olympic football tournament.

I am grateful for that answer. Will Ministers in the UK and Welsh Governments realise that, if we follow the example of the Sydney Olympics, where much of the training was done a long way away, there is a great opportunity to use the swimming facilities at Swansea, the velodrome in Newport, the Millennium stadium in Cardiff and, I am sure, the wide range of facilities in Blaenau Gwent? Will they all be put to maximum use and can we have a commitment?

I can certainly give that commitment to the hon. Gentleman. He is quite right that, at the Sydney Olympics, more than £400 million was spread throughout the economy in New South Wales in 2000. We intend to ensure that as much of the benefit as possible is spread throughout the UK—particularly in Wales. As he rightly says, we have a wide range of facilities: the velodrome, the national pool in Swansea and the Menai sailing centre. All those are good potential training facilities for teams and we will certainly push that forward.

The Olympic Delivery Authority has given a commitment that the 2012 Olympics will be the most sustainable ever. Given the strength of Wales’s renewable energy manufacturing industry, such as Sharp UK in my constituency, which makes photovoltaic cells, will my hon. Friend meet me to discuss the potential for Welsh manufacturers to serve the Olympics in 2012?

I can certainly give my hon. Friend that assurance. He may know that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has already written to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport to push the importance of renewable energy facilities in the new buildings related to the Olympic games. I will be able to give him further information when we meet in the near future.