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Olympic Games 2012

Volume 496: debated on Tuesday 1 September 2009

To ask the Minister for the Olympics what assessment she has made of the work of establishing temporary facilities to house the International Broadcast Centre and the Main Press Centre during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. (284553)

[holding answer 6 July 2009]: It was always the intention that the International Broadcast Centre/Main Press Centre (IBC/MPC) would be a combination of temporary and permanent elements. As it became clear that a private sector deal was not going to offer best value for money, a full assessment of the IBC/MPC site was undertaken to determine ways to make temporary those proposed permanent elements not required in legacy.

The MPC offices, the two-storey IBC studio and part of the car parking facilities will be permanent buildings for games and legacy as originally planned but slightly smaller (totalling just under 100,000 sq m rather than 125,000). Some of this reduction is due to catering facilities, originally intended to be housed temporarily in office space during the games, now being provided in separate wholly temporary facilities. Other temporary elements of the project include both the other part of the car parking facilities and temporary retail facilities for media and broadcast personnel.

Assessment of temporary versus permanent facilities is ongoing as the design and procurement teams continue to ascertain those components required solely for games-time. As such, careful attention is being given to identify those elements that can either be hired in for the duration of the games or that can be relocated following the games. For example, we are considering hiring much of the mechanical and electrical plant required to service the IBC in games-time and the generators for back-up power.

Games-time operations are the responsibility of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), in conjunction with the Olympic Broadcast Service and Host Broadcaster, who will be providing much of their own broadcast equipment and operational functions.

It remains the intention to create facilities that leave a real long-term employment legacy for Hackney and the buildings have been designed to be as flexible as possible. The public sector will retain ownership of the asset and receipt of all revenues from its sale after 2012.

To ask the Minister for the Olympics if she will make it her policy that the traditional folk culture of the nations of the United Kingdom feature in the opening and closing ceremonies of the London 2012 Olympics; and if she will make a statement. (288747)

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) will be developing its plans for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games in due course. It is too early to say which organisations will take part in these events in three years’ time. However, the Cultural Olympiad provides opportunities for folk culture to be represented in the London games in the run up to and including 2012. Information and opportunities for involvement will be highlighted on the London 2012 website at: