Olympic bid talks in Suffolk
SUFFOLK will express its full support for London's bid to host the 2012 Olympics at a meeting in Ipswich tomorrow.Regional arts and cultural bodies, councillors and sporting groups will discuss with a key member of the capital's campaign team how the county can enhance the bid and benefit from the potential economic boom.
SUFFOLK will express its full support for London's bid to host the 2012 Olympics at a meeting in Ipswich tomorrow.
Regional arts and cultural bodies, councillors and sporting groups will discuss with a key member of the capital's campaign team how the county can enhance the bid and benefit from the potential economic boom.
They will be looking at the possibility of holding cultural festivals in Suffolk in the run-up to the Games and encouraging athletes to train here and work with schools.
Kevan Lim, the county council's executive committee member for economic and social regeneration, said: "We are hoping to emphasise our great location in terms of access, particularly if a direct train service to the Olympic site at Stratford is created.
"Once the Games have started, we may be able to get some teams training here early and working with school kids in the area. We will be looking at issues like that."
The meeting comes two days after more than 200,000 people turned out in London to celebrate Great Britain's heroes from this year's Athens Olympics at a huge victory parade. The ceremony was also an ideal platform to promote the country's passion for sport.
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London is bidding for the Games against Paris, Madrid, Moscow and New York. A decision will be made by the International Olympic Committee in July next year.
Jude Kelly, chairman of the arts, culture and education committee for the London 2012 bid, who is meeting the group, including Living East, the regional cultural consortium for east of England, Sport England and Suffolk County Councillors, will encourage support for the bid.
She said: "2012 seems such a long way ahead, but the decision is happening over the next few months and it is vital that the people of Suffolk show their support now to secure London's bid.
"I believe that London is capable of hosting the most exciting and successful Games of the modern era and that the east of England has a significant and unique role to play in that success.
Mr Lim believes Suffolk's early support for the bid has given the county a running start at benefiting from the economic boom that could be generated by holding the Games in London.
He said: "The fact that we have been so supportive and very productive along with Essex will give us a great advantage. We are the closest part of the country to the main venue and we will benefit from that."
London 2012 chairman Lord Sebastian Coe was due to come to Ipswich, but had to pull out because of international commitments.
If you would like to show support for the bid or have any ideas about how Suffolk can contribute, please e-mail Kevan Lim at email@example.com