The Secretary of State has visited 2 local companies, Lagan Construction and H&J Martin, which have benefitted from contracts to work on the Olympics by over £23 million. Lagan Construction is building a bridge between the Olympic Park and the Stadium, while H&J Martin is fitting out the International Media Complex at the Olympic site. Over 45 companies in Northern Ireland have benefitted with contracts totalling over £40 million.
The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Rt Hon Owen Paterson MP, visited several Northern Ireland Companies today to see at first-hand how Belfast is already benefiting from London hosting the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer.
Mr Paterson took a tour of Lagan Construction Ltd based at Sydenham to see plans for the construction of the central footbridge across the park to the Olympic Stadium and met with Adrian Dixon Operations Director Lagan Construction Ltd.
Whilst at Lagan Construction the Secretary of State also met young Northern Ireland Olympic Ambassador Gemma Mc Allister, and heard from her how the 2012 London Games is inspiring her generation to be more active and creating a sporting legacy for young people for the future.
Later in the day Mr Paterson also visited H&J Martin based on the Ormeau Road in Belfast and met Derek Martin, Director and Founder of the Company to hear at first hand the plans for fitting out the Media Centre at the Olympic Stadium.
Owen Paterson said:
The Olympic Games is a momentous occasion in our history and I am delighted that Northern Ireland business will benefit directly from these very valuable contracts in excess of £18 million. This is good news for our companies and will showcase to the world the superb skills and quality workmanship displayed in Northern Ireland.
In addition The Olympic Games will also benefit Northern Ireland young people directly by raising their awareness of the positive aspects of sport to their health and general wellbeing and will provide positive role models for them to aspire to in the future not only through the Olympic athletes but also through our local young Olympic Ambassadors.
This morning, Owen Paterson attended a Cabinet meeting on the Olympic Park in Stratford, East London, chaired by the Prime Minister David Cameron. The meeting focused on how every part of the UK can take full advantage of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and the unique chance that that the country has to sell itself to a massive international audience.
This afternoon, Cabinet Ministers are visiting towns and cities across the United Kingdom to see for themselves how businesses, sports facilities, schools and organisations are benefiting from the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
With little over seven months before the opening ceremony, the construction phase is 95% complete and the project continues to be on time and on budget. Since work began on the East London site in 2008, £6.39 billion worth of contracts have been awarded to over 1500 business in the UK.
Prime Minister David Cameron said:
Hosting the Games this summer will put the United Kingdom in the international spotlight and the government is committed to ensuring that the tourism sector maximises the benefits, boosting investment, jobs and growth. Domestic tourism will benefit from a 20.12% discount initiative recently announced by Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt and during a trip to New York last September the Prime Minister launched the GREAT campaign which will focus on promoting globally everything the UK has to offer. The campaign will showcase the opportunities to invest in the UK and help to attract millions of extra visitors.
Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, Jeremy Hunt said;
London 2012 gives us an opportunity to showcase the best of Britain to the world and what this country has to offer. From our beautiful countryside to historic sites, sporting venues to our amazing cultural offer Britain really does have something for everyone. I am confident that we will put on a sporting spectacular this summer with some magical, medal moments that we will never forget and that will inspire many young people to get involved in sport.
Sports in the UK will also receive a boost as part of the Olympic legacy with many of the world-class venues being opened up to local communities and initiatives to support sport in schools, communities and elite athletes continuing after the Games.
Notes to editors
- For further information on the Secretary of State’s visit, please contact Amanda Craig, 02890 527946, 07980742514
- For further information on the benefits that the Olympics is bringing to Northern Ireland, please contact the DCMS press office on 020 7211 6263
- 20.12% discount - accommodation providers who sign up to the Visit England-led campaign, will offer people the discount providing they book before the end of the Paralympics - the initiative will be fully-launched later this year
- Funding for elite athletes - funding for our elite athletes will remain at the same level in the run-up to the 2016 Rio Games
- Community sport - Sport England’s £135 million Places People Play programme is already boosting community sport up and down the country - upgrading facilities, protecting playing fields and providing more opportunities for people to play sport
6 - School Games - the School Games is revitalising competitive sport in schools. 11,000 schools have signed up to date which will see inter-school and school versus school sports competition happen across the country. The first national final will take place at the Olympic Park in May with young athletes competing in many of the Games venues before the world’s best go for gold at London 2012.