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Olympic Games

Volume 451: debated on Wednesday 8 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions she has had with the Welsh Assembly Government on the use of Welsh sporting venues in connection with the 2012 London Olympics. (100038)

The Millennium Stadium in Cardiff will host group stages of the football competition in the 2012 Olympic games.

Sports Cabinet brings together all four of the UK home countries to consider and contribute to the development of sport at a policy and strategic level which will have an impact on a UK-wide basis. The Sports Cabinet already includes as a standing agenda item a regular update on all aspects of 2012. The Secretary of State is keen that this is maintained to ensure that issues impacting the devolved Administrations are fully discussed.

The Government are determined that the whole of the UK, including Wales, can contribute to and benefit from the 2012 Olympic games and Paralympic games. A Nations and Regions Group (NRG), comprising representatives from every region and nation, has been established to provide leadership and strategic direction. Wales is represented by Gareth Hall, Director of the Department of Enterprise, Innovation and Networks of the Welsh Assembly Government.

Areas of potential benefit include business opportunities, hosting pre-games training camps, tourism, culture and volunteering opportunities. Wales, through the NRG, is developing a delivery plan to ensure that these opportunities are maximised.

As part of this process Wales has venues that could be used to provide facilities for pre-games training and for the holding camps that a country’s National Olympic Committee (NOC) and/or National Paralympic Committee (NPC) may choose to set up prior to the games.

In order to assist NOCs and NPCs, the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) is putting together a ‘Pre-Games Training Camp Guide’ in which facilities in the UK that have been selected as providing a suitable training environment are listed by location and by sport.

LOCOG have released details on their website, inviting expressions of interest from potential host facilities. Applications can be made on the London 2012 website: www.london2012.com/trainingcamps <http://www.london2012.com/trainingcamps>. Applications will initially be assessed locally with selection coordinated by each nation and region. A proposed list of facilities will then be submitted to LOCOG for final selection. The guide will be distributed to NOCs and NPCs in July 2008.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions she has had with (a) the current board and (b) potential owners of West Ham United about the ownership of the London 2012 stadiums. (99555)

[holding answer 6 November 2006]: On 3 July 2006, I and representatives of the other Olympic stakeholders met the Mayor of Newham and representatives of West Ham United to discuss the legacy of the Olympic stadium. The Minister of Sport and officials have also had exploratory discussions with those with a potential interest in the legacy use of the stadium. I have held no discussions with any potential owners of West Ham United.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether athletics events will continue to be able to be held in the 2012 Olympic stadiums following the games irrespective of the ownership of those stadia. (99641)

[holding answer 6 November 2006]: As the Olympic Stadium Explanatory Document published in July by the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) made clear, it is envisaged that in legacy mode it will be a 25,000-seater stadium with athletics at its core, consistent with the commitment set out in the London 2012 Candidate File. The ODA has appointed consultants who, in consultation with Olympic stakeholders, sporting bodies and the local community, are scoping the different possible legacy uses for the stadium with a view to drawing up a business plan for future use of the stadium. A wide range of options consistent with our Candidate File commitment is currently under consideration.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the expected completion date is for the (a) Olympic stadium and (b) Olympic village. (100100)

As set out in the Olympic Park Delivery Programme (published in July 2006 by the Olympic Delivery Authority), the expected completion date for the construction of the Olympic stadium is 2011—in time for test events to take place—and the expected completion date for the construction of the Olympic village is early 2012.