Skip to main content

Olympic Games 2012: Essex

Volume 472: debated on Tuesday 4 March 2008

To ask the Minister for the Olympics what steps her Office (a) has taken and (b) plans to ensure that local authorities in Essex share in the (i) economic, (ii) social and (iii) sporting benefits arising from the 2012 Olympic Games; what discussions her Office has had with local authorities in Essex; and if she will make a statement. (188995)

The Government and the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) are working hard to ensure the benefits of 2012 reach across the UK and have established a Nations and Regions Group (NRG) to oversee this work chaired by Charles Allen. Additionally, the Local Government Association (which is represented on the Group) is supporting local authorities across the UK in the lead up to the Games.

Cllr Stephen Castle, who is the regional representative on NRG, chairs the Nations and Regions East (NRE) Board. This Board has representation from each of the six county areas in the East of England and each county has a 2012 working group. In Essex a Strategic Board has been set up and is supported and led by Essex County Council. The Board is chaired by Gary Sullivan, also Chair of the Thames Gateway South Essex Partnership. The Board has the full involvement and representation from both Thurrock and Southend unitary authorities and provides relevant and appropriate activity to maximise the benefits from 2012.

On 16 January, the London 2012 Business Network was launched, helping businesses across the country access and compete for 2012-related contracts. 1018 businesses from the East of England have already registered on CompeteFor—a ground breaking ‘business dating agency’ which goes further than previous Games in opening up the supply chain. 52 of the Olympic Delivery Authority’s suppliers are Cabinet Office registered in the region.

Local authorities can also apply to be a Beacon authority on Olympic and Paralympic legacy. The Beacon scheme will help us use the 2012 Games to encourage communities to be more active. Successful applicants to the scheme will be at the forefront of delivering programmes to increase participation at a local level and championing best practise. Applications are due in June and successful authorities for 2009 will be announced early next year.