Commonwealth 2002 legacy
London 2012 – What’s in it for us?
The 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester left a lasting legacy, around £600m has been invested in the region since then and it’s estimated that about 20,000 jobs were created. The question is, can the London 2012 Olympics bring similar benefits?
Rob Young, the North West Co-ordinator for 2012, says it will hopefully bring a range of opportunities, from local businesses winning contracts to service the Games through to attracting training camps and inspiring people to get involved in sport.
Darren Campbell struck Olympic gold with Great Britain’s 4x100m relay team in Athens four years ago.
Darren Campbell: Games will inspire
He comes from Manchester and he doesn’t believe that only London will benefit from 2012:
"I think the effect that the Commonwealth Games had on Manchester was immense for the city and everybody that took part…
"I think a successful Games inspires everyone across the nation and that’s what the Olympic Games in London will do."
Sport is already playing a major role in regenerating the former mining town of Leigh.
Sports Village could be used as a training camp
The Leigh Sports Village cost £83m and includes a new 10,000 seater stadium for the Centurions Rugby League Team plus other facilities including a swimming pool and athletics track.
It’s also one of more than 70 venues short-listed across the North West as a potential training camp for an Olympic team competing in 2012.
Leigh has close ties with the Ukraine forged after the last war when many Ukrainian labourers came to work in the area.
It’s hoped the link could persuade Ukraine’s Olympic team to base themselves at the sports village in 2012.
Trevor Barton: passionate advocate for all sports
Trevor Barton, the Chairman of Leigh Sports Council, says they went and put their case to the Ukraine:
“They looked at this and thought, ‘Hmm, there’s something in it’… hopefully they come across not just about the sport and the excellence of the Olympics but the whole cultural bit as well.”
However there are concerns from community groups about the effect the Olympics could have on them.
Ruth Walkden, from Wigan and Leigh Council for Voluntary Service, says many of the groups she represents will struggle to survive because the Lottery funding they rely on is being used for 2012.
She says it’s not a question of being anti-Olympics, just anti the way that she believes 2012 is taking money away from those who need it most.
So whether the net effect of London 2012 on the region turns out to be positive or negative remains to be seen.
last updated: 11/08/2008 at 11:52