Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt today urged businesses in Cumbria to make the most of the opportunity of the country hosting the Olympics, kicking off his nationwide ‘2012 tour’ in Penrith.
Addressing more than 100 hoteliers, businesses and tourism bodies from across Cumbria, the Secretary of State said that the region was one of the most stunning parts of the country, and that there were big wins to be had in 2012 for Cumbria’s tourism industry in particular.
The event - hosted by Cumbria Tourism and with speakers from London 2012, the Cultural Olympiad and VisitEngland - showcased the business, tourism, cultural and sporting opportunities that the Games bring. It also featured internationally acclaimed Cumbrian drumming band Boom Dang.
Tourism: 20.12 per cent discount scheme
He also revealed that the region would feature in major international and national marketing campaigns to promote UK tourism in 2012, and urged local tourism firms to sign up to a new 20.12 per cent discount scheme.
Calling the 2012 Games a “once-in-a-generation chance to show the world the very best of Cumbria”, Jeremy Hunt also recommended a 2012 ‘staycation’: “with so much going on, including the fantastic Lakes Alive spectacular on Windermere, 2012 is also the perfect time for more of us to holiday at home.” He continued: “Lots of household names are already signed up to the VisitEngland 20.12 per cent discount scheme, and I urge local tourism businesses to get on board as well. Last year, 40 million visitors came to Cumbria, bringing £2 billion into the local economy. Next year, we can do even better.”
School Games - bringing the Olympic spirit to schools in the North West
The Culture Secretary also dropped in on Richard Rose Central Academy in Carlisle, where he hosted a school sport summit, along with wheelchair basketball athlete Mark Fosbrook. At the event, Fosbrook urged schools to sign up for the new School Games school sport competition. Using the inspiration of London’s Olympics, the competition is helping to transform competitive sport in schools and get more young people playing sport.
Jeremy Hunt added: “The School Games will leave a real lasting legacy from London’s Olympic and Paralympic Games. They will transform sport in school, bringing back competition and getting rid of ‘prizes for all’. There is still time for schools to sign up for the competition, which will have its first finals in the Olympic Park next year.”
The events in Cumbria today were the first in a series of events around the country hosted by the Culture Secretary, to help all parts of the country make the most of the opportunities of the Games, and to urge schools to sign up to the School Games competition.
The 2012 Games and the North West - In Numbers
1 - Official London 2012 venue: Old Trafford, Manchester, Football
4 - Official opening events nationwide for the London 2012 Festival of culture, one of which will take place in the Lake District on 21st June 2012
6 - North West Pre-Games Training Camps for international athletes, including Australian Olympic Swimming Team and USA Basketball team
8 - The number of days that the Torch will be in the North West
53 - Businesses who have won contracts to work directly on the Olympic Park and Village
221 - The number of sporting, educational and other community projects that are now officially Inspired by London 2012
1,500 - Schools in the North West now signed up to the new Olympic and Paralympic-style School Games
2,344 - North West schools and colleges taking part in the Get Set programme, to celebrate Olympic and Paralympic values in the classroom - around two-thirds of all schools and colleges in the region.
8,743 - Companies in the North West registered with Compete For, an online ‘dating service’ for businesses hoping to win Games-related contracts and other major opportunities
15,000 - Young people from across Greater Manchester who took part in the pilot of the first School Games in Sportcity, Manchester
4,600,000 - Extra visitors that will come to the UK over the next four years, spending more than 2 billion and generating nearly 60,000 new jobs