Skip to main content

Cultural Olympiad

Volume 506: debated on Monday 1 March 2010

11. What recent progress has been made on the programme for the Cultural Olympiad; and if he will make a statement. (318862)

Three major cultural projects have been launched so far, and nearly 150 projects have been awarded the Inspire mark. More than 1,400 open weekend events were held during 2008 and 2009. In July 2009, the Cultural Olympiad Board was established, placing delivery of the Cultural Olympiad in the hands of our world-renowned cultural sector.

Does the right hon. Lady believe that further progress could be made if the rather pompous title “Cultural Olympiad” was dropped for something in plain English that describes to the general public what it actually means? Will she ensure that if there is a lasting cultural legacy from the Olympics, it is spread throughout the United Kingdom and not just confined to London?

On this issue. It is for the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games and the Cultural Olympiad Board to look at the name, and I know that Tony Hall, as chairman of the board, is suggesting a new title.

I also have a lot of sympathy for the view that the benefits of the Cultural Olympiad—as it is known now—should be shared throughout the country. Many of the events to date have been outside London, and we need to do more and more to make sure that they take place throughout Britain.