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London must re-kindle the Olympic spirit to deliver a lasting business legacy

London must re-kindle the Olympic spirit and a sense of urgency to deliver a lasting economic legacy from the 2012 Games, the organisation representing the capital’s leading businesses has warned.

In its submission to the House of Lords Olympic and Paralympic Legacy Committee examining the legacy of the Games, submitted today, London First argues that the primary reason that businesses mobilised to sponsor and assist the Olympic bid in 2005 was to reinforce London’s status as a world city.

Baroness Jo Valentine, Chief Executive of London First, said:

“A year ago all the stops were pulled out by a range of organisations to meet the immovable deadline of the Games.  The result was one of the best ever Olympic and Paralympic Games and we should be rightly proud of ourselves. The legacy requires the determination and commitment that enabled this massive and multi-faceted project to be delivered on time, to an exceptionally high standard, to be maintained.

“Instead we have seen funding cuts to the bodies promoting London as a leisure and business tourism destination; foot-dragging over embedding some of the travel and transport innovations introduced during the Games; and dithering over a new airport runway in the south-east and river crossings in the east of London.

“It would be a huge disappointment to all who made 2012 so special, for London and for Britain, were that drive to turn to drift, as has so often happened in the past.”

Olympic initiatives that London First believes could be continued include night time and more flexible freight deliveries, later running of underground trains and informative public information campaigns to help people plan their journeys.

The London First submission identifies steps that need to be taken under three headings: sustainable promotion of London as a world city; embedding Olympic innovations; and regeneration of the East End.

London First is a business membership organisation with the mission to make London the best city in the world in which to do business.

The full submission can be found here.

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Notes to editors

For further information contact: Fran Edwards, Media Relations Manager, London First.
e-mail: fedwards@londonfirst.co.uk  tel: 020 7665 1427, mobile 07535  977004
Twitter: @London_First

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