Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Minutes of Evidence

Memorandum submitted by DCMS


  Winning the right to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London in 2012 is a great honour. London's victory on 6 July was a fantastic achievement and testament to the hard work, skill and professionalism of all of those involved in the bid. The highest public support, as well as the cross party backing, for Lord Coe and his team, was absolutely crucial in convincing the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that the UK would stage a spectacular and memorable Games.

  Hosting the Games also represents a unique opportunity for London and the UK as a whole. We are determined to maximise the potential environmental, social and economic benefits that hosting the Games affords.

  Realising our vision for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London in 2012 is a significant challenge. As the IOC said in their evaluation of London's bid in June, "the magnitude of the project . . . requires careful planning to ensure all facilities and rehabilitation projects are completed on time." We are not underestimating the scale of the task, and that is why we have been so quick to get on with the job of delivering for 2012.

  Friday 14 October marked 100 days from the IOC's momentous announcement. During our first 100 days as a host city we have achieved a huge amount. We have already:

    —  introduced crucial Olympic specific legislation;

    —  started work on the Olympic Park;

    —  begun work to realise a lasting and sustainable legacy from the Games;

    —  launched new Olympic Lottery Games—which are already generating funding for the Games;

    —  established the key bodies that will prepare for and run the Games in 2012; and

    —  begun the process of recruiting people for the top jobs in each of these organisations.

  The IOC have been impressed with what they've seen so far. Dennis Oswald, who was recently appointed as Chair of the IOC's Coordination Commission, said of our preparations, "London already has a clear idea of the steps that need to be taken to turn its ambitious plans into reality. Such thoroughness is commendable and was one of the strengths of London's candidature." And Dick Ebersol, Head of NBC Sports, who is an experienced Olympic observer, also commented, "From seven years out, it's definitely ahead of the last three Games at this point."


Olympic Board

  The Olympic Board will provide oversight and strategic coordination of the total Olympic project. It is made up of the DCMS Secretary of State, the Mayor of London, Chair of the British Olympic Association and the Chair of LOCOG. The Board had its first meeting on 28 July and is already well into its stride having now had three full meetings.

London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG)

  The London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) will have primary responsibility for staging the Games and will act as the client on behalf of the IOC. The LOCOG will be mostly self financed through sponsorship and revenues from IOC broadcasting and sponsorship deals. The LOCOG has now had its first board meeting and key appointments have already been made—Lord Coe as Chairman and Keith Mills as Deputy Chairman. An advert has been placed and an executive search is underway for the LOCOG Chief Executive.

Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA)

  The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) will be established by the London Olympics Bill which is currently before Parliament. The ODA will be an Executive NDPB of the DCMS, which will be responsible for co-ordinating the public sector obligations for staging the Games including delivering the venues and infrastructure for 2012. We have already begun the process of recruiting the Chair and Chief Executive for the ODA and expect to be able to make appointments by the end of November. The Chair and Chief Executive will then be able to oversee the appointments of other key members of the ODA top team and develop a business plan to ensure the ODA is able to hit the ground running upon Royal Assent of the Bill.

  The London Development Agency and Transport for London are undertaking critical work that cannot wait for the ODA to be established. We have appointed a Director of Transitional Delivery to oversee these crucial initial projects.

Olympic Lottery Distributor (OLD)

  A large proportion of the funding package for the London Games will come from money generated by the National Lottery. The first Olympic Lottery Game, the "Go for Gold" scratch cards, went on sale on 27 July and over £3.3 million has already been generated for the Olympic Lottery Distribution Fund. We have established the Olympic Lottery Distributor (OLD) with the first meeting of the OLD's Interim Board taking place on 28 September. The interviews for the Chair and other members of the permanent board will take place later this month.


  The London Olympics Bill was introduced to Parliament on 15 July, received second reading on 21 July and began consideration in Commons committee on 13 October. We are keen to get this legislation passed as soon as possible so we can establish the Olympic Delivery Authority and they can get on with the job of delivering the venues and infrastructure needed for 2012. The Bill also ensures we meet the commitments given to the IOC in London's bid about how the Games, and the Olympic environment, will be managed—particularly in relation to advertising and marketing. The Bill includes provisions to control advertising and street trading in the vicinity of Olympic venues and makes touting Olympic tickets a criminal offence. The Bill also provides greater protection for Olympic and Paralympic intellectual property in an attempt to protect the Games from ambush marketing.


  We have agreed within Government a means of financing the essential immediate work in the Lower Lea Valley. This financing agreement allows the LDA to let crucial contracts over the coming months.

  We have already selected the supplier for the first contract to place underground the overhead power lines that currently run across the Olympic Park and Village sites. This is a critical project as much of the remediation and construction activity on the Olympic Park and Village depends on the power lines having been successfully placed underground.

  The next steps on some of the practicalities of delivering the Olympic Park are well underway and a number of other major contracts will be let over the coming months:

    —  Olympic Park Design Team;

    —  Programme Management Team;

    —  Demolition and Remediation Design Team; and

    —  Demolition and Remediation Contractors.


  The Olympics are not just about sport. Our proposals for a cultural Olympiad to accompany the Games—as set out in Theme 17 of our Candidature File—are a crucial part of our plans. The cultural Olympiad is a four year cultural and educational programme which will build community involvement and support for the Games right across the UK. Our plans for the cultural Olympiad are already well developed and focus on involving children and young people in the build up to the Games. The centrepiece of our plans is the Olympic Friendship—a full size ocean going clipper, crewed by international sports people, artists, academics and student, under the tutelage of professional sailors—which will travel the world for set periods over the four years to 2012 carrying a cargo emblematic of the UK's cultural riches. A virtual vessel will also sail the internet designed to inspire imaginative learning and development across all disciplines.


  Hosting the Games in London in 2012 offers us an opportunity to realise significant environmental, social and economic benefits for the whole of the UK.

  We are determined that the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012 will be the UK's Games. Work is already underway to establish the structures and strategies that will ensure we maximise all the opportunities that hosting the Games affords. At a high level we are in the process of establishing arrangements for oversight of the legacy and benefits realisation agenda—ensuring the full involvement of all our nations and regions.

  But in practical terms work has already begun. For instance we recently announced changes to the functions and responsibilities for our key sporting bodies. This will ensure we have a sporting landscape which is fit for purpose. These changes, combined with the increased investment in our young athletes through our Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme and our 2012 Scholarships will help us to deliver more British competitors and medallists than ever before in London in 2012.

  On 15 November the Prime Minister is calling together key figures from the tourism industry to discuss how the UK can capitalise on the opportunities that hosting the Games affords. Plans are already well developed and this high level meeting will provide momentum to implementing those plans in both the immediate and longer term.

  We recently announced our intention to hold a special "summit" to spell out how UK businesses can benefit from the Games coming to London in 2012. This business summit will bring together 250 companies, industry bodies and key trade unions to find out how the economic benefits from hosting the Games can be maximised.

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2005
Prepared 2 December 2005