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Olympics (Economic Effects)

Volume 527: debated on Thursday 28 April 2011

9. What recent assessment he has made of the economic effects of the London 2012 Olympics on the regions of England other than London and the south-east. (52635)

The whole of the UK stands to gain from the wide range of opportunities created by the London 2012 Olympics. The Olympic Delivery Authority has 53 suppliers in the north-west alone, including Broughton Controls Ltd just outside the hon. Gentleman’s constituency, which supplies CCTV systems in the park. Many more form part of an extensive supply chain. However, opportunities extend beyond that. So far, six national Olympic and Paralympic committees have signed contracts to train in the north-west, including the Australian swimming team and the USA basketball team, so the north-west is making a massive and important contribution to London 2012.

I am sure that the Minister is right on those specifics, but the previous Administration commissioned a report by Dr Adam Blake of Nottingham university that showed that overall there would be a net negative impact on the English regions of £4 billion—the look on the Minister’s face tells me that he has never heard of the report.

The report was produced at a time of prosperity. Is it not time that the Minister had it updated so that the Government can take action to right that undoubted economic wrong?

I have been rumbled—I was looking at the right hon. Member for Dulwich and West Norwood (Tessa Jowell) in the hope that she might help me out, but she is looking pretty blank. The best thing I can say to the hon. Gentleman is that I will dig the report out. It was not part of the handover brief that I received. Anybody who suggests that Manchester and the area around it is anything other than a vital part of the sporting infrastructure of this country is talking nonsense. The north-west, and particularly Manchester, will be at the centre of this great national sporting celebration.