Supplementary memorandum submitted by
1. UK Sport is pleased to respond to the
specific questions put to it by the Select Committee following
submission of its earlier memorandum of 4 December 2000. The questions
will be answered in the order they were posed.
Question 1: "Is Sport England's account of
the initial view of UK Sport on Olympic athletic events at Wembley
(SE3, para 9.19) correct? If so, why did UK Sport give this advice
and why did it subsequently revise it?"
2. UK Sport received two letters from Sport
England on 11 and 25 October 2000 seeking our views on the proposal
to remove athletics from the English National Stadium, Wembley
and on the proposal for a National Athletics Centre at Picketts
Lock, Lee Valley. Our response of 3 November 2000 was drafted
and signed during the absence of the Chief Executive at the Paralympic
Games in Sydney and a clerical error in its composition meant
it did not accurately reflect the position of UK Sport.
3. Our position has been, and remains, that
we support the reasons for the decision of the Secretary of State
to remove athletics from the English National Stadium. We also
believe that Wembley should remain a potential venue for other
Olympic events such as the opening and closing ceremonies and
the football tournament. UK Sport has, from the beginning, supported
UK Athletics' bid to bring the World Athletics Championships to
the UK. We understand the current proposals for Picketts Lock
will result in a legacy stadium of circa 20,000, after the staging
of the 2005 Championships. In addition, UK Sport is therefore
following closely the news of investigations now under way within
the proposed new Wembley project, exploring a range of design
options which may enable the incorporation of a major athletics
event within the stadium at a future date. The 2005 Athletics
World Championships is a key element of our major events strategy.
Indeed we put significant Lottery support into the successful
4. This position, together with an acknowledgement
of the potential confusion we may have caused in our letter of
3 November, was communicated to Sport England on 4 December 2000
as soon as it was discovered that the content of our earlier letter
Question 2: "What advice has UK Sport given
to the Government on the implications if the 2005 World Athletics
Championships are not staged at Picketts Lock?"
5. UK Sport has not been formally asked
for such advice by the Government. We do however participate in
a stakeholder group chaired by the Secretary of State to monitor
progress on the development of the Lee Valley Stadium. In this
gathering we have reiterated our position of supporting a bid
from London to host the 2005 World Athletics Championships on
the understanding that a suitable venue and supporting infrastructure
would be available in time for the Championships. This undertaking
was given to the IAAF at the time of presentation of the bid.
Question 3: "What has been UK Sport's involvement
in examination of a possible London Olympic bid?"
6. To date, UK Sport has not been consulted
or asked to undertake any formal independent examination of a
possible London Olympic bid. The successful staging of the Olympics
is at the heart of our major events strategy and as an event that
has implications on the whole of sport, we would anticipate being
consulted and providing appropriate advice and assistance. Our
priority would be on verifying the ability of London to deliver
the event to world class standards and on the UK's prospects of
winning what will inevitably be a highly competitive bidding process.
Question 4: "What is UK Sport's assessment
of the current state of preparations for such an Olympic bid?"
7. As set out above, UK Sport has not yet
been involved in the examination of a possible London Olympic
bid. We are aware that the BOA has been conducting research into
a broad spectrum of issues involved in the bidding for and hosting
of an Olympic Games.
8. As the world's largest sporting event,
the challenge to any city wishing to host a successful Games is
substantial and requires very careful consideration. We understand
a number of experts have been consulted by the BOA in preparing
their report but up to now we have not been asked to contribute
to this process. We remain prepared to assist and provide technical
and sport political advice.
Question 5: "What is UK Sport's assessment
of proposals and prospects for venues for sports for a London
Olympics, and athletics and swimming in particular?"
9. UK Sport has not yet seen the feasibility
study undertaken by the BOA and has therefore been unable to assess
proposals and prospects for venues for sports for a London Olympic
Games. Any major venues currently in the planning stage for London
should not be built so as to preclude their use for any future
London Olympic Games.
10. It will be important to develop a venues
strategy that both optimises the management and operation of a
Games and satisfies the high standards demanded by the IOC and
the individual sporting federations. We would wish to see any
required new build providing a lasting sporting legacy with appropriate
long-tem community and high performance use.
Question 6: "Has UK Sport considered underwriting
sporting events in the same way as the Sports Council for Wales
and, if that practice has not been adopted, why not?"
11. The four home country sports councils
and UK Sport operate Lottery programmes in support of major events.
As such we are required to operate within strict financial boundaries
discussed with and approved by the National Audit Office.
12. UK Sport has worked with the other sports
councils to ensure a complementary programme with a common approach
to those seeking our support and guidance. It is our understanding
that whilst the Sports Council for Wales may refer to its approach
being one of "underwriting" an event, there is in effect
little difference in our approach. Neither organisation is in
a position to underwrite an event as this would mean assuming
final responsibility for any loss be it anticipated or not, something
forbidden by our financial memoranda with government. The Sports
Council for Wales also operates a maximum award of £50,000
which means it cannot be in a position to underwrite an event.
Our approach is to consider the overall operation of the event
and to "deficit fund". In this way we only support eligible
costs (such items as hospitality, gifts, prize money etc are ineligible)
and do not make an award of more than 35 per cent of the total
cost of eligible items. We expect applicants to raise significant
funds from non-Lottery sources and to have made a contribution
from their own funds.
13. The policy of the Sports Council for
Wales requires repayment of any surplus on a full or pro rata
basis. UK Sport (and other Sports Councils) also retains this
option but permits reinvestment of any surplus in the further
development of the sport, subject to agreement.
14. This is considered a fair policy as
the budgeting for major events is not a precise science and carries
an element of risk. Whilst detailed evaluation is undertaken by
UK Sport to assess the level of Lottery support required to ensure
a break-even budget, extra effort, tight expenditure control or
marketing and ticketing strategies which exceed the targets set,
can all contribute to a final profit. We consider it important
to retain this incentive and the option to channel any surplus
into further development of the sport.
Question 7: "What is the current position
of UK Sport regarding preparations for the 2003 World Indoor Athletic
Championships? What funding commitment has been made and what
is the current state of planning of the budget for the event?"
15. UK Sport is actively engaged with the
City of Birmingham and UK Athletics in preparations for the World
Indoor Athletics Championships in 2003. The National Indoor Arena
(NIA) is one of the pre-eminent athletic arenas in the world and
was originally conceived to stage such an event as this. The knowledge
and expertise of the NIA and City of Birmingham staff in organising
world level events gives us confidence that the event will be
a great success.
16. An event director has been appointed
by the city together with key support personnel and a championship
office has been established at the NIA. Contract negotiations
with the IAAF and its agents are progressing well and will be
concluded shortly. Exact dates for the championships are yet to
be finalised with ongoing discussions with the IAAF and broadcasters
relating to the most suitable three-day period for all parties
in March 2003.
17. UK Sport is working closely with the
Championship Director in the preparation of the event budget using
a business planning model we developed with Deloitte Touche for
the 2006 World Cup Bid and used on the 2005 World Athletics Championships
Bid. This model ensures consideration is given to all potential
income and cost centres for an event of this complexity and enables
a robust evaluation of expenditure and income by clearly detailing
assumptions and the impact of critical variables eg currency exchange
rates, tickets sale projections etc. The model also enables an
estimate of the economic impact of the event by providing the
detailed numbers required to feed into the impact model we have
been developing with consultants at Sheffield Hallam University.
18. It is anticipated that the City of Birmingham
will be in a position to submit its formal application and budget
for the event in March 2001. This will be considered by the Major
Events Steering Group at their April 2001 meeting at which time
recommendations will be made to the Council of UK Sport on the
level of funding.
Question 8: "What is UK Sport's policy towards
public support for veterans and masters events in the context
of its major events strategy?"
19. The focus of our policy on major events
is towards the principal recognised and established events of
the international sports federations that are hosted in different
parts of the world. This is clearly targeted at youth and those
aspiring to be the best in their chosen sport and is closely linked
to the support we are channelling into sports through the World
Class Performance Programme. We wish to capitalise on this investment
in high performance athletes by securing opportunities to showcase
British talent on home soil to the maximum number of the public
and to the maximum advantage of home competitors. As resources
for events are very limited (£1.6m per annum) priorities
have to be set and we have developed a set of criteria against
which all events will be assessed. These have been shared with
the Committee previously.
20. Whilst masters events would not currently
be a priority for staging support through the World Class Events
Programme, we acknowledge the growing importance of master level
events and the fact that some master athletes are aged as low
as 25-30. We would wish to see that the knowledge and experience
we are developing on the successful staging of events was shared
with the organisers of any masters event secured by the UK. It
is in the best interests of the country that all international
sports events are seen to be a success in the eyes of the world
at large. This only enhances our ability to secure more events
in an increasingly competitive environment.
21. The economic impact of certain masters
events can be significant on the local and regional economies
as the accompanying family profile and individual spend of masters
events is very high, frequently associated with extended holiday
commitments. We believe this type of event would be of interest
to tourism and other local/regional development agencies.
22. For the reasons given above it is fair
to say that we do not exclude the possibility of supporting masters
events but that their profile and priority has to be closely assessed
against available resources and the primary demands of the Lottery
funded programme. We would be prepared to be a partner in supporting
the bidding costs for an appropriate masters event on the understanding
that the staging costs could be met from other sources, not least
the income generated by the event itself.