Brighton & Hove stands to benefit enormously from London’s winning bid to stage the Olympic Games in 2012. But will the city be ready for the influx of people?
VisitBritain has estimated that Britain stands to gain £2bn in inbound tourism as a result of the success of London's bid. Towns and cities within easy travel distance from London will be competing for a slice of the action.
The city’s proximity to London and well-developed hotel industry makes it an ideal place to accommodate visitors during the games. Brighton & Hove will also be bidding to attract national teams to use the city as a pre-games training camp.
Council leader Ken Bodfish said, "We’re an ideal place for training camps and pre-Olympic build up. We’re expecting to have available by then a range of flexible sports spaces. We could provide major sports halls at the King Alfred, our schools and universities. We would also have space at the new international arena and ice rink at Black Rock. These spaces could be transformed into perfect training halls for any number of indoor sports - for example basketball, volleyball, gymnastics, fencing or handball.
“Hopefully we’ll have Falmer stadium by then. This news underlines the city’s case for a stadium – and on that site if we’re to meet the timescale. We will also need to link with Crawley because of its 50 metre pool.”
BUSINESS FORUM COMMENT
If all goes according to plan we will have the sports facilities to reap rich rewards in 2012 but we do not as yet have the mechanisms to transport people to and from them. There are plans and schemes and ideas but unfortunately no clear prospect of agreement on how to proceed.
This announcement should act as a wake up call to all who are interested in the prosperity of the city of Brighton & Hove. Perhaps the time has come to put political differences aside and work in unison to maximize this opportunity to boost the economy of our city.
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