The Government's Olympic legacy ambitions for the UK are to change a generation of young people through sport and to transform East London.
The Government and the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) established the Nations and Regions Group to ensure UK-wide engagement and to maximise the legacy for London 2012. This group works directly with representatives from each of the nations and English regions to maximise the sporting, commercial, cultural and other benefits of the 2012 Games. Some examples of how the south-west of England, and in particular Cornwall, Devon and Somerset, is benefiting from the Games are given below.
The London 2012 Games has created significant new opportunities for UK businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) has awarded direct contracts to 15 suppliers registered in Cornwall, Devon and Somerset, out of a total of 49 for the south-west region. The ODA has recently published a map showing that many suppliers are winning work both directly with the ODA and within the supply chains of its contractors. Details of these are available in the business section of the London 2012 website at www.london2012.com/get-involved/business-network/oda-suppliers/index.php.
More than 5,500 south-west businesses have now registered on CompeteFor, the electronic brokerage service which enables businesses to compete for Games-related contract opportunities. Businesses can find out about Games-related contracts on CompeteFor, the electronic brokerage service which is designed to open up London 2012's supply chains further than any other Games previously.
The ambition is to make the UK a world-leading sporting nation and increase active participation in sports. In Somerset, Team Somerset 500 was devised by Somerset County Council in 2009 to create a longer-term endowment fund to encourage wider participation in sport and healthier lifestyles beyond 2012. The club aims to recruit 500 local businesses and investors to pledge at least £500 per year each in the run-up to the London 2012 Games to support talented young athletes and to encourage active involvement in sport across the county.
In the south-west, there are 61 facilities included in the Pre-Games Training Camp Guide which are available to teams from the UK and overseas to use. The British Paralympic Team has signed an agreement to train at Bath University, which is one of those venues.
In terms of the social legacy, £1.61 million has been awarded to the south-west from the Legacy Trust for programmes to inspire and engage young people in their diverse communities to participate in cultural work and sporting activity. The London 2012 Inspire programme, which officially recognises outstanding non-commercial projects and events which have been inspired by the Games, is helping to bring the benefits of the Games to every part of the UK. There are 19 Inspire marked projects in the south-west, including two in Devon and two in Somerset.
Involving children and young people in the excitement and inspiration of the Games is also a priority. Get Set, LOCOG's education programme for London 2012, has more than 700 schools registered in the south-west so far.
In Somerset Playing for Success, a partnership between the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF), local authorities and a broad range of sports (18 in total), supports the Olympic legacy aims. Through Playing for Success, the DCSF and partners are establishing study support centres within sports clubs' grounds and sporting venues. The centres open out of school hours and mainly cater for 10 to 14 year-olds who are at risk of underachieving, using the stimulus of sport to motivate them.
The search and screening of people, vehicles and materials entering Olympic and Paralympic venues will be an integral part of the protective security approach at these sites. The screening regime is being developed to provide an appropriate level of assurance that items that pose a threat to the Games will be detected on entry, based on risk assessment. As part of this, appropriate consideration is being given to the ability to screen for chemical materials.
The Home Secretary and Minister for Olympic Security will oversee the delivery of the Olympic Safety and Security Strategy, working in conjunction with the Minister for the Olympics, and other ministerial colleagues as required depending on the nature of any potential incident.