I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 15 December 2008, Official Report, column 342W.
In addition, nine of the Olympic Delivery Authority’s (ODA) suppliers are businesses registered in the North East. Over 700 businesses from the region have registered on CompeteFor, the electronic brokerage service for buyers and suppliers. In February 2009, One North East (the Regional Development Agency) will host the ODA at a ‘Meet the Buyer event’ at Newcastle Racecourse where a range of business support activity with be available and 2012 opportunities will be promoted to around 2,000 business organisations.
I am also delighted to say there are a number of projects in the North East that have been awarded the London 2012 Inspire Mark (the non-commercial 2012 brand available for exciting new cultural projects inspired by the Games). So far this includes:
Creative Arts, by Tyne and Wear Museums;
Dance City Afro Reggae, by Dance City;
Seconds Out, by Theatre Royal Newcastle and Darlington Council;
Border Crossing by ISIS Arts;
Juice, Newcastle Gateshead’s Children and Young People’s Festival, by Culture 10;
People’s Record and Literature and Stories by MLA.
The Personal Best programme uses Games-inspired volunteering to help people to develop their skills for work. Building on the success of London, the North East will be one of the first regions to benefit by introducing this programme.
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. The North East representative is Peter Rowley, Chair of the Regional Sports Board.
At a regional level, all London 2012 games-related activity is led by One NorthEast (the regional development agency) and Sport England North East and includes a structure involving partners from across the public, voluntary and private sectors. These arrangements provide the groundwork for delivering a strong legacy in the North East and will ensure that the region contributes to the overall UK-wide legacy ambitions of 2012. Through the effective delivery of the Legacy Action Plan, we aim to maximise the social, economic and cultural opportunities across the UK.
We are already seeing great progress in a lot of these areas, for example, the North East has put in place a project called Beating Type 2 Diabetes. This project is active in Middlesbrough and aims to show how increased physical activity can help prevent type 2 diabetes. It uses 2012 as a key driver for behavioural change.
Additionally, there are also a number of groups in the Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland region who work in partnership with Sport England to promote the wider benefits of the London 2012 games. This includes Tees Valley Olympic and Paralympic Games Working Group which has identified a draft action plan of activities that it intends to carry out between now and 2012. It is organising an events-based programme which aims to use the Olympics and Paralympics to encourage involvement in sport and identify talented performers. The group is also utilising Sport England funding to match strong performers with talented coaches to enable them to fulfil their potential.