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Archive - Friday, 27 November 2009
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Area is set for Games boom
THE region’s “world class” sporting facilities, tourist attractions and its proximity to London will help it win a slice of the Olympic Games cake, said Tessa Jowell.
The Olympics minister visited Oxford yesterday and said she expected it to play a “very important role” in the London 2012 Games.
Three sports centres — Oxford University’s Iffley Road sports ground, Radley College sports centre, and the Alden Livery equicentre at Upton — have already been granted training camp status by games organisers.
That means they could play host to Olympic athletes in the run-up to the games.
Oxfordshire businesses are also expected to chase a slice of £1.7bn of contracts still to be awarded.
Mrs Jowell said: “Oxford and the surrounding areas are well placed to play a very important role in the London 2012 Olympics.
“There are three world-class sporting facilities in Iffley Road, Radley College and Alden Livery which could make excellent training camps. Who wouldn’t want to spend three months acclimatising in Oxfordshire before the games?
“The city is steeped in history and could be a wonderful tourist destination for thousands of people. Plus Oxford is only about an hour-and-a-quarter from London on the M40, so it is close enough for visitors to explore.”
She added: “In addition, I hope that businesses and residents will register their interest and volunteer services and help.”
Claire Prosser, policy executive at Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce, said Oxford was set for an “economic boom” — “Anything that attacts people to an area has got to be a good thing, and our businesses will benefit if they make sure they cater for tourists and athletes.”