Britain 'on track' to secure lasting 2012 legacy says PM

 

David Cameron today hailed the London 2012 legacy as ministers gathered at the Olympic Park 200 days before the Games' opening ceremony.

The Prime Minister called a Cabinet meeting at the site in Stratford, east London and urged ministers to fully exploit the opportunities the summer showpiece and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee will offer.

Mr Cameron, London mayor Boris Johnson and Lord Coe, chairman of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, will tour the park later while other ministers fan out to visit sports facilities, businesses, schools and organisations across the UK in a co-ordinated push to promote the Games' value.

Opening today's meeting, the Prime Minister said: “A very warm welcome everyone to the Olympic Park, and a happy new year.

“This is the first Cabinet meeting of the new year and it is appropriate we are having it here.”

He told senior Government ministers they would hear a presentation from Lord Coe, updating them on progress for the Games' legacy.

Mr Cameron said six of the eight main venues had already secured their legacies, adding: “Not only are they already up and running, but they already have a future, and we can be very proud of that.”

Ministers travelled to the site on board a high-speed Olympic Javelin shuttle train from St Pancras station in central London.

Their meeting took place at the 7,000-capacity handball arena, with tables erected on the court surrounded by multi-coloured seats.

Today's Cabinet meeting was the first for new Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood, who took up the post after Sir Gus O'Donnell retired last month.

Earlier, organisers said newly-agreed contracts for the long-term running of three more of the eight permanent Olympic venues would create 254 jobs for local people paid at London living wage rate.

Officials remain confident they will secure deals for the remaining two - the main stadium and the media centre - in time for the opening ceremony.

Mr Cameron welcomed the confirmation of future ownership deals for the swimming and handball venues as well as the ArcelorMittal Orbit observation tower.

He said: “We are well on track to deliver a lasting legacy for the whole of Britain.”

And Mr Johnson said: “We can now start the run in to a fantastic year of celebration with huge pride and optimism that London will stage a great Games delivering lasting sustainable benefits long after the athletes have departed.”

PA

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