Olympic champion heads to Suffolk

BRITAIN'S Olympic bid torchbearer Sebastian Coe is to visit Ipswich, the Evening Star can reveal today.The London 2012 chairman and double Olympic gold medallist, who has been encouraged by Suffolk's enthusiasm for the Games, will arrive on October 20.

BRITAIN'S Olympic bid torchbearer Sebastian Coe is to visit Ipswich, the Evening Star can reveal today.

The London 2012 chairman and double Olympic gold medallist, who has been encouraged by Suffolk's enthusiasm for the Games, will arrive on October 20.

An announcement was due to be made at Suffolk County Council's general meeting this afternoon when the Star went to press.

Kevan Lim, the county council's executive committee member for economic and social regeneration, helped organise the visit.

He said: "We are very pleased. We have encouraged him to come to talk to us about how we can help. Now he is coming, we are looking at how we can best use that time."

Lord Coe will talk with councillors and cultural bodies to see how the county can best use its assets to provide crucial support.

Most Read

He is keen to promote the bid on a national level and wants to communicate the benefits to the community.

This morning, Lord Coe updated the Cabinet on progress in a sign that the Government was also lending its weight behind the bid.

When the International Olympic Committee votes for the best candidate in July next year, the weight of public support could prove a decisive factor.

Lord Coe is likely to discuss how Suffolk can contribute to the cultural side of the Games. Should London win, there are plans to hold a six-month cultural festival across the UK in the lead up to the event.

Mr Lim said: "Undoubtedly, we have an advantage in that we already have some international cultural venues.

"Places like Snape and Aldeburgh give us a good edge about using Suffolk as one of the main areas for cultural activity."

He added that being only 40 minutes away from the proposed Olympic site, Suffolk was ideally placed for events related to the Games.

He said: "We will also want to talk about how we can sell this area as an ideal place for pre-Olympic training and tourism related to the Games.

"Suffolk is close to the Olympic centre but on the other hand it has a completely different atmosphere for the teams to prepare for the Games."

Members of the council and other organisations will meet with Lord Coe at Endeavour House between 1pm and 3.30pm.

Guests will include members of the bid committee, Living England, the cultural arm for the east of England, the East of England Development Agency, East of England Tourist Board and Sport England.

Lord Coe will also visit Cambridge and Norwich on October 19.

London has been shortlisted against Paris, New York, Madrid and Moscow.

How significant is Lord Coe's visit for Ipswich? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter