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London Olympics

Volume 491: debated on Monday 20 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what opportunities his Department is making available to local authorities to encourage sporting and cultural activities in connection with the London 2012 Olympics; and if he will make a statement. (269392)

Sport and culture play a significant role in plans for the Olympic and Paralympic games and Olympic Legacy.

As part of wider Government plans for getting two million people more active for 2012, we will get one million more people playing sport. 80 local authorities have signed up to having National Indicator 8 on Sport and Active Recreation, and nearly 300 are participating in the Government's Free Swimming Programme. In addition, Sport England will be having several themed (e.g. the first round recently targeted at rural communities) rounds of funding over the next four years, up to £30 million per year, which will be open to local authorities to bid for.

Local authorities have also already played a role in the delivery of the Cultural Olympiad, which aims to provide opportunities for a variety of organisations involved in culture to be part of the cultural celebrations linked to the games, and we expect they will continue to do so.

Following the success of ‘Open Weekend' last year to celebrate the launch of the Cultural Olympiad, July 24 to 26 2009 will see the ‘London 2012 Open Weekend' taking place across the country, and I encourage local authorities to get involved with local cultural, sporting and sustainability-related events over the weekend to celebrate London 2012 in the heart of our communities.