Press release

Transport Secretary visits Gatwick to see Olympic preparations

Gatwick visit to see first-hand how the airport intends to play its part during the Olympics.

Transport Secretary Justine Greening visited Gatwick today to see how the airport intends to play its part during this year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games and the wider legacy benefits of the Games in West Sussex.

Justine Greening said:

Our airports will play a key part in the success of London 2012, providing for many the first impression of the country.

I welcome Gatwick’s commitment to invest £1 billion on improving facilities which will benefit visitors to the Games, but will also be something that passengers and travellers to the UK can benefit from for many years to come.

The Olympics can be a real boost to jobs, businesses and tourism and I am determined that transport will play a full part.

This morning, Justine Greening 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 the country has to sell itself to a massive international audience.

This afternoon, Cabinet Ministers are visiting towns and cities across the UK 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 1,500 business in the UK.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

As we kick off 2012, the year of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Diamond Jubilee, this is the perfect time for the Cabinet to come together and ensure we are doing absolutely everything we can to make the most of this unique opportunity to showcase all the great things the UK has to offer to the rest of the world.

As Ministers visit Olympic venues, businesses, schools and organisations associated with 2012 right across the UK, I want the message to go out loud and clear, from tourism to business, sport to investment, we are determined to maximise the benefits of 2012 for the whole country.

Today (9 January 2012), as we mark 200 days to go, and 6 out of the 8 Olympic venues having already secured their future, we are well on track to delivering a lasting legacy for the whole of Britain.

Boosting tourism numbers

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 Justine Greening’s visit, please contact Matt Brook on 020 7944 3337.

For further information on the benefits that the Olympics is bringing please contact the DCMS press office on 020 7211 6263.

20.12% discount - accommodation providers who sign up to the VisitEngland-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 PlacesPeoplePlay 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.

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.

Olympic Cabinet meeting

Rich media content from todays regional Cabinet meeting.

View the story “Olympic Cabinet meeting - 200 days to go” on Storify

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