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London Olympics: Government urged to ‘look after the legacy’

Baroness Jo Valentine calls for a Cabinet-level Olympics Legacy Minister, to deliver the longer term economic and social legacy beyond 2012.

Speaking on Thursday (01 March) in a House of Lords debate on the Economic and Social Benefits of the 2012 Games, Baroness Valentine, Crossbench Peer and chief executive of influential London business organisation London First, pressed for the Government to focus on the Olympic legacy – the permanent benefits of staging the Games in London – now.

Baroness Valentine said:

“I called for this debate to focus attention on what was, for the business community, the primary reason for backing London’s Olympic bid – extracting a lasting economic benefit from the Games. The 2012 Games offer a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform an interesting but run down part of London, and most importantly, transform the lives of people who find themselves excluded from London’s booming economy.

“To focus on the longer term vision, we need a Government minister for Olympic regeneration and Olympic employment. The legacy is worth working for. London’s burning ambition will far outlive the Olympic flame.”


Notes to editors:

London First, alongside the other members of the London Business Board, published a prospectus detailing how business could contribute to maximizing the long-term benefit of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Download the Executive Summary

London First is a business membership group whose aim is to improve and promote London with the objective of ensuring that London maintains and enhances its position as a leading world city. London First mobilises the experience, expertise and enthusiasm of the private sector to develop practical solutions to the challenges facing London and lobbies central and London government for the investment that London needs in its infrastructure.

London First delivers its activities with the support of 300 of the capital’s major businesses in key sectors such as finance, professional services, property, ICT, creative industries, hospitality and retail. Membership also includes all of London’s higher education institutions as well as further education colleges and NHS hospital trusts. London First members represent 26% of London’s GDP.”

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