Tourism Minister praises South West’s ‘vital’ role in the Games and support for the Torch relay. Thousands line the streets as Torch showcases region’s picturesque landscape to the world.
As the Olympic Torch continues its tour of the South West, Tourism Minister John Penrose expressed his pride in the role that the region is playing in supporting London 2012.
Mr. Penrose said:
“The South West has given the Torch the perfect start. I would like to thank all those who have made it happen – LOCOG, the Police, the military, local authorities, a host of other organisations – and of course the torchbearers themselves.”
“In particular, I want to thank the people of the South West for embracing the Torch so enthusiastically. The scenes in towns, villages and cities from Land’s End to Cheltenham have been truly remarkable and a great advert for the UK and the Games.”
“Since we won the bid, the South West has made a great contribution to the Games. And it’s not just about the Torch celebrations – whether it’s hosting training camps, staging amazing community events, or bringing the Olympic spirit into our schools, the region is taking London 2012 to its heart.”
“Local businesses in the South West have made a vital contribution to the London 2012 Games – from concrete for the Stadium to underfloor heating for the Olympic Village, the region is leaving its mark in a big way.”
Key facts and figures showing the different ways in which the South West region is contributing to the Games and demonstrating the legacy benefits are:
South West in numbers:
- 1 – number of Olympic and Paralympic venues in the region
- 11 – number of days the Olympic Torch will be in the region
- 36 – per cent increase in international visitors to the official online visitor guide, VisitCornwall.com, compared to the same period last year
- 40+ – number of Pre-Games Training Camps for Olympic and Paralympic athletes
- 270+ – local sporting, educational and community projects officially inspired by London 2012
- 1,300+ – local schools signed up to the new Olympic and Paralympic-style School Games
- 1,900+ – local schools taking part in the Get Set programme to celebrate Olympic and Paralympic values
- 886,600 – value (in £s) estimated consumer spend in Falmouth during the Torch’s visit, Police figures revealing that the events of the day doubled the town’s population
- 5,500,000+ – estimated value (in £s) of media coverage generated during the Torch’s visit to the region with hundreds of international broadcasters, photographers and journalists descending on the region to cover the event, according to stats from VisitCornwall
- 12,800,000 – value (in £s) of the Olympic Park contracts won by South West businesses
South West and business
More than £12 million worth of Olympic Park contracts were won by businesses based in the South West, with further benefits cascading down the supply chain. Over 60 local businesses have played a role in the construction of the Olympic Park, including:
- Structural Metal Decks in Poole, which supplied metal decking and studs for the Olympic Stadium.
- Riise in Plymouth, which provided under floor heating for the Athlete’s Village.
- B&B Moulds near Ilminster in Somerset, which supported the concrete casting on the Olympic Stadium.
Many other businesses have won contracts to supply a wide range of goods and services for the Games, including Blom UK, a Somerset-based aerial photography firm, which has captured images of the Olympic Park developing over time – giving us a powerful visual record of a unique period of change for East London.
Notes to editors
100 local torchbearers carried the Flame throughout the South West. To read more about their inspirational stories go to the London 2012 website.