SUFFOLK BACKS LONDON'S OLYMPIC BID

SUFFOLK is throwing its wholehearted support behind London's bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games.After a meeting in Ipswich yesterday with one of the key members of the capital's campaign team, the county council's executive committee member for economic and social regeneration, Kevan Lim, said Suffolk would be the “perfect base” for both competitors and fans.

By Graham Dines

SUFFOLK is throwing its wholehearted support behind London's bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games.

After a meeting in Ipswich yesterday with one of the key members of the capital's campaign team, the county council's executive committee member for economic and social regeneration, Kevan Lim, said Suffolk would be the “perfect base” for both competitors and fans.

“We have an enormous amount to offer Olympic athletes and spectators - friendly people, potential for fast access to the Olympic site at Stratford, tremendous cultural and leisure opportunities, wonderful training venues and quality accommodation,” said Mr Lim.


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London is bidding for the Games against Paris, Madrid, Moscow and New York and Suffolk was visited yesterday by Jude Kelly, chairman of the arts, culture and education Committee for the London 2012 Olympics bid, to encourage support for London.

Graham Creelman, Chair of Living East, the regional cultural commission consortium for the East of England, said the Olympics and Paralympics would have an enormous impact.

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He added: “We are lucky to have a full sporting heritage and rich cultural life in the East of England.

“We do not only endorse this bid in words but look forward to contributing to the sporting and cultural festivals in 2012.”

After meeting members of the consortium, Mrs Kelly said: “2012 seems such a long way ahead, but the decision process is happening over the next few months and it is vital that the people of Suffolk show their support now to secure London's bid.

“I believe that London is capable of hosting the most exciting and successful Games of the modern era and that the East of England has a significant and unique role to play in that success.

“We want to encourage as many people as possible to back the bid.

“This region is driving forward support through the work of the East of England Olympic Working Group, and I wanted to come here today to give them my backing, and encourage everyone else to do that too.”

Andrea Stark, executive director of Arts Council East, said the Olympics presented “a fantastic opportunity” for the East of England.

The East of England has established an Olympic working group to ensure the region is represented in plans for a London Games, and to encourage the region to get behind the bid.

It encompasses key regional organisations from the worlds of sport, health and lifestyle, business and tourism, culture and the arts, secondary and higher education, local government and regeneration.

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