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Economic Situation

Volume 488: debated on Tuesday 24 February 2009

To ask the Minister for the Olympics what recent discussions her Office has had with outside organisations to discuss policies on reducing the effect of the recession on matters within her Office’s responsibility. (254062)

Officials of the Government Olympic Executive and I meet a wide variety of stakeholders to discuss all aspects of the London 2012 games programme. These discussions frequently cover both the effects of the current economic downturn and the many economic benefits associated with the preparations for, and the legacy of, the 2012 games.

London 2012 is bringing a wide range of business and economic benefits including £6 billion worth of contracts, over 75,000 supply chain opportunities and many jobs, skills training and apprenticeship opportunities. These include 30,000 people helping to build the Olympic Park and Olympic Village; 2,500 people directly employed on the staging of the games with a contractor work force of some 100,000; and 50,000 new permanent jobs in the Park and the wider Lower Lea Valley after the Olympics are over. As well as further jobs in the supply chain, the games will also create 6,700 jobs in the wider visitor economy. Visit Britain estimates the tourism benefits at £2.1 billion. In terms of skills, at least 350 apprentices will gain valuable skills on the construction of Park and Village.

The economic downturn has reduced the amount of private sector investment available to the Olympic Village and the International Broadcast Centre/Main Press Centre projects. However, these projects remain on track; and to the extent that additional public sector funds are required, these can be delivered within the £9.325 billion public sector funding package.