Poll: Three out of four believe London Olympics will bring no noticeable benefits to their region
Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell says every part of the country will benefit from the 2012 Olympic Games in London. But a specially-commissioned survey by the BBC's Inside Out programme suggests that three out of four people think that the region where they live will get no noticeable benefit – and even in London that figure was nearly 60%.
In an Inside Out – Olympics Special (Friday 4 April, 7.30pm, BBC One) the BBC's Olympic correspondent, Adrian Warner, travels across England to find out if the benefits brought about by the London games will really extend beyond the capital.
He finds out whether Birmingham businesses will get a boost, if Olympics tourists will flock to destinations like Windsor and what the impact of the games might be on the arts in the North East of England.
Minister for the Olympics, Tessa Jowell, speaking to Adrian Warner and the Inside Out team, is convinced that we can all benefit from the 2012 games: "We are not idiots here, we have actually thought very carefully before, during and after the bidding process about getting the very best value for money."
She adds: "We have also given more thought and careful planning than any other city has ever done before in making sure that people all around the country have a part to play in the games and benefit from the games. That's why support for the games all around the country is as high as it is."
However Adrian discovers that, although there will be benefits for both the country and the capital, there is real concern that most of the advantages will go to London and the South East.
Simon Topman, a local Birmingham businessman, says: " I don't think it will be a deliberate stitch up, but I think the South East will pick all the plums. Yes there will be opportunities, in theory, everywhere.
"But in practice the South East is switched on to the games, knows about the games and people down there are being a little bit more pro-active..."
Also in the programme, Olympic legend Colin Jackson discovers why, despite Government hopes, only one in five people apparently feel inspired by the Olympics to participate in sport or exercise*.
He visits Aylsebury and finds out how serious investments in cycling facilities can raise fitness levels.
And Colin shows off some of his Strictly Come Dancing moves when he takes a couple of single mums to a dance class in Skegness.
*Source: Gfk NOP phone poll, January/February 2008, 2,000 adults 16+
Notes to Editors
Inside Out is also available online via bbc.co.uk/inside out from 8.00pm on Friday 4 April.
In January/February 2008, pollsters GfK NOP were commissioned by BBC Inside Out to carry out a telephone poll. They called 2,000 people to find out how the British public felt the London Olympics would benefit them. This is based on the Government claim that every region of the UK will benefit from the Olympics.
- Nearly three in four thought the region where they live would get no noticeable benefit – and in London that figure was still nearly 60%.
- The survey also suggested that – even with four years to go – one in four people say they are likely to make the trip to London for the Olympics.
- But despite the fact that greater public involvement in sport/exercise is also a stated aim of the Olympics, only one in five people said that it would inspire them.
Do you think you are likely to go to the Olympic Games in London in 2012?
- National: yes = 25% no = 75%
- London: yes = 53% no = 47%
(Sample size: 248)
If you answered no to question one, why do you say that?
- Not interested in sports = 38%
- Too far to travel = 23%
- Cost/Too Expensive = 17%
- Security concerns = 2%
- Other = 33%
- Don't know = 2%
(Sample size: 1498)
Do you think the region where you live will get any noticeable benefit from the Olympics?
- National: yes = 22% no = 73% don't know = 5%
- London: yes = 33% no = 59% don't know = 8%
(Sample size: 248)
Do you think the Olympics will inspire you to participate in sport or exercise?
- National: yes = 20% no = 80%
Source: GfkNOP phone poll
Date of poll: January / February 2008
Sample size: 2,000 adults aged 16+
Full details of the poll are available on bbc.co.uk/inside out.