Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence

Annex 6

Letter, 26 January 2001, from the then Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport to the Chairman of Sport England


  Following Rodney Walker's announcement that Wembley will not be able to put forward a proposal to accommodate the 2005 World Athletics Championship, we have the necessary clarity that a new stadium at Lee Valley is the best option for that event. I know that work on that project has continued but the reassessment of the Wembley option by WNSL has inevitably been something of a distraction. It is helpful to have all of this behind us.

  There can be no doubt of the importance of the World Athletics Championships to athletics and to the whole of sport in this country. It is an opportunity to demonstrate our ability to deliver the facilities and organisation necessary to stage major international events in this country, and will have significance for our ability to secure more such events in the future. I am sure you will share my desire to ensure there is a worthwhile legacy from the Games for athletics in particular.

  I believe it is now time to shift up a gear both in progressing the project and in ensuring that clear positive messages are given. Sport England will have a key role and I know you will ensure that your officers who are working on the project give it the priority and the energy which will be essential if it is to be delivered on time. Kate Hoey and I, and our officials, stand ready to give help and support. I should be grateful if you would continue to take a close personal interest in the project and keep us informed of its progress and of any issues or opportunities where we might be able to help. Perhaps we can touch on this when we meet to discuss the Sport England Funding Agreement next month.

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