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Legacy (Northamptonshire)

Volume 471: debated on Monday 28 January 2008

The east midlands strategy for the 2012 games has made some significant commitments, including to increased participation in sport, raising the profile of tourism in the region and providing support to businesses to enable them to win 2012 contracts. Already, 17 of the contracts have been let by the ODA to firms in the east midlands. There will be further opportunities for the east midlands to get involved in the cultural olympiad and in volunteering. However, none of that will happen by chance and I extend an invitation to the hon. Gentleman and all his colleagues to utilise fully the many opportunities for his constituents in the east midlands to be part of the 2012 games.

I asked about Northamptonshire rather than the east midlands, but is it not it a fact that there will not be a legacy for the east midlands? The Olympics are a good thing to have and will be a great success for this country, but we must not pretend that there will be a legacy for anywhere north of Watford.

It is not the case that there will be no legacy for the east midlands and for the hon. Gentleman’s constituents in Wellingborough. There are opportunities for engaging in volunteering and potentially developing training camps. An economic legacy derives from bidding for Olympic contracts. The opportunity to ensure that the hon. Gentleman’s constituency benefits is in his hands.

Does my right hon. Friend know that, in Northamptonshire, we are setting up a champion’s fund to pay for young athletes to be trained for the Olympics? Does she agree that one of the great legacies that we in Northamptonshire are creating for ourselves is ensuring that we have more highly trained, elite athletes, who can take part in the Olympics and other international and national games?

That is absolutely the point. I pay the warmest tribute to my hon. Friend, who has shown genuine leadership in Northampton in bringing together businesses and local organisations in pursuit of the Olympic potential for young people in her constituency. I congratulate the young athletes in the talented athlete programme and I commend the Northamptonshire champion’s fund, of which she has been such a powerful advocate.