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Communities Secretary Eric Pickles was in Essex today to see first-hand how the county is already an Olympic winner from London 2012 Games this summer

Mr Pickles toured Hadleigh Farm, the site of the Olympic mountain biking track, and Basildon Sporting Village, an official Games training venue that will be home to the Japanese Olympic swim team. He also saw how the 2012 London Games are creating a sporting legacy for Essex that will inspire a generation to become more active.

Mr Pickles then saw how the Games are also helping local communities and companies. He will visit Hadleigh's regenerated Old Fire Station to switch the clock back on and present an award to local school children. He also visited John Anthony Signs, a company that won a contract to provide much of the signage around the Olympic Park.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said:

"We are on track for a great Games in 2012. It's going to be an amazing chance to showcase to the world the best of what Britain and Essex has to offer.

"The Olympic torch will go through Chelmsford; Hadleigh will host the Mountain Biking competition; and Basildon's training village is set to become a home away from home for many athletes.

"Essex already has seen Olympic success through home-grown heroes like Sally Gunnell and Dean Macey. I hope these games will inspire more young people to become Essex Ambassadors or get involved in sport and help leave a lasting legacy for generations to come."

This morning, Mr Pickles attended a Cabinet meeting at the Olympic Park in Stratford, East London, chaired by the Prime Minister David Cameron. The meeting focused on how every part of the UK can take full advantage of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and the unique chance that that the country has to sell itself to a massive international audience.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

"As we kick off 2012, the year of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Diamond Jubilee, this is the perfect time for the Cabinet to come together and ensure we are doing absolutely everything we can to make the most of this unique opportunity to showcase all the great things the UK has to offer to the rest of the world.

"As Ministers visit Olympic venues, businesses, schools and organisations associated with 2012 right across the UK, I want the message to go out loud and clear, from tourism to business, sport to investment, we are determined to maximise the benefits of 2012 for the whole country.

"Today, as we mark 200 days to go, and six out of the eight Olympic venues having already secured their future, we are well on track to delivering a lasting legacy for the whole of Britain."

This afternoon, Cabinet Ministers visited towns and cities across the United Kingdom to see for themselves how businesses, sports facilities, schools and organisations are benefiting from the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

With little over seven months before the opening ceremony, the construction phase is 95 per cent complete and the project continues to be on time and on budget. Since work began on the East London site in 2008, £6.39 billion worth of contracts have been awarded to over 1500 business in the UK, with over £840 million worth going to businesses throughout the East of England

 

Written by Scott Buckler
Monday, 09 January 2012 16:04

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