In 2012 the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games are coming to London. The medals above have been made in Wales at The Royal Mint in Llantrisant and the first event even before the opening ceremony in London will have kicked off in the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. But how will the Olympic games affect Wales? Will the positives be greater than the negatives? Or will we suffer in Wales as London and England benefit?
2012 Olympic Medals
The Newham area used to be dominated by industry linked to the old London Docklands. Both the Barcelona and Sydney Olympic games had been used to successfully regenerate very similar regions. The Olympic project as planned should create 40,000 new homes and create 50,000 new jobs helping Stratford out of its economic troubles. Great for London but where is the money coming from? Some of it unfortunately from Wales as both Lottery and Westminster Government money is diverted from other regions of the UK to the Olympic project.
There will be some massive opportunities for Wales; increased uptake in sport could improve the health of the nation and reduce our healthcare costs. This is sometimes referred to as the Olympic legacy. Welsh businesses could take the contracts for the Olympic Games creating jobs. Overseas teams could base themselves in Wales paying for accommodation and facilities. Wales could also benefit from a boost in tourism numbers. So the question remains to be answered. How will Wales benefit from the Olympics in London?
At the start an estimated £1.7bn would be spent on transport and regeneration costs for the London Olympics. Under the Barnett formula where UK funding in England needs to be matched with proportionate funding for the devolved countries; at least £165m would be due to Scotland, more than £100m to Wales and about £65m to Northern Ireland. Sadly the old Westminster Government exempted the Olympic funding from the Barnett formula meaning Wales misses out. Extra funding allocated by the current coalition government has been included in the Barnett formula so for Christmas 2011 the Welsh Government had a late present of £8.9 million.
However it is estimated that up to £100 million of lottery money that should have come to Wales has been diverted to the Olympics and Plaid Cymru estimate that if all the funding diverted from Wales from the Olympics were added up it would come to a staggering £330 million!
Olympics 2012 will be a great celebration for the UK
It will bring huge opportunities for future business
More people in Wales will take up sport making us healthier
Wales can market itself on a global stage like never before
Welsh athletes are really going to be at the front of team GB
You will probably have a great summer and really enjoy and remember it.
Look at the pros (advantages) and cons (disadvantages) for the Olympics of Wales. Decide if the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games are good or bad for us here in Wales.