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Olympic budget – Shift in focus needed to ensure regeneration legacy

London business has today urged Government to put the legacy back in focus or risk jeopardizing the opportunity to regenerate east London.

Responding to the Government announcement on the Olympics Budget, Baroness Jo Valentine, Chief Executive of influential business organisation London First, said:

“The legacy benefit to east London was a major reason the business community initially backed the 2012 bid. It still is, but the ongoing focus on costs risks jeopardizing the opportunity we have to regenerate some of the poorest parts of the country.

“Today’s budget reheated old regeneration figures without allocating any further funds. We’re concerned that money for regeneration will be spread far too thinly across the whole Gateway – diluting the impact and missing this once-in-a-lifetime chance to improve the landscape of east London.

“We are startled by the Government’s lack of longer-term vision for the regeneration legacy. There needs to be an immediate shift in focus to ensure we don’t squander this crucial opportunity.”

Notes to Editors:

London First is a business membership organisation whose mission is to make London the best city in the world in which to do business. London First undertakes this by mobilising the experience, expertise and enthusiasm of the private sector to develop practical solutions to the challenges facing London. London First also seeks to persuade central and London government to make the investments 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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