As the London 2012 Olympic Games is now just days away, the spotlight is inevitably on the nation’s capital but Downtown Liverpool in Business Chairman, Frank McKenna remains unconvinced about its benefits.
Frank McKenna says, “When it was first announced that London had won the bid to host the 2012 Olympics, many people across the country felt it would have little positive impact on those outside of the capital – and with just a few days left to go until the Games start, I have to admit I am still to be convinced otherwise.”
“The Government has spent huge sums of money trying to convince us all of the economic benefits that will be created by the Games through infrastructure improvements, inward investment and increased tourism across the regions, yet almost all of the Olympic events are being staged within London and the South East.”
“Are small business owners in the North West going to feel the benefits in their profit and turnover? I can’t really see it myself.”
Olympic organisers say that after the Games, four arenas, three 50m swimming pools and the water polo pools will each be disassembled and rebuilt in other parts of the UK to benefit the regions. All of the sports equipment used will also be donated to UK sports clubs and charities across the UK
But the DLIB Chair says this is simply not enough, adding, “This will no doubt be a great boost to youth participation in sports, but it is hardly the heavyweight economic boost we were all promised.
“In a summer that has already seen a lot of London-centric activity around the Jubilee celebrations, sadly I’m not convinced that the positive impact of the Olympics will be felt any more than it was during the Jubilee for businesses in the North.
“Despite government promises to re-balance the economy, businesses in our region are struggling to overcome the North-South divide.
“Health inequalities, house prices, and the fact that jobs in the north are being lost at four times the rate of the rest of the country are all indicators of continuing disparity – and I fail to see how the Olympics can make a difference to this only ever widening gap.”
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