2012 London Olympics: An Opportunity For Liverpool?

Already, some people in Liverpool believe the 2012 Olympics will be ‘bad’ for Merseyside. Having already won the accolade of 2008 European Capital of Culture, – and bearing in mind also the City’s 800th Anniversary in 2007 – surely we in Liverpool are actually very well placed to benefit greatly from the 2012 Olympics, if we start to plan now? The glass is decidedly half full, not half empty. The next challenge for Liverpool is to recognise this and act on it.
The news on Merseyside today is that a survey shows more local business people think the 2012 Olympics will be bad for the Liverpool area than good for it.
They argue that benefit will probably be directly in relation to proximity to London; and indeed that finance for the Olympics will take any available monies, leaving not much for the rest of us.
This is a particularly puzzling view in Merseyside, where we are about to benefit from our 800th Anniversary in 2007, and then the 2008 European Capital of Culture – events brim-full of business opportunities and visitors, alongside the city’s current enthusiasm for regeneration.
Call me naive, but I see here a chance to build on whatever success we in Liverpool can make of our 2007 / 2008 events. The city’s leaders have consistently said they want the celebrations and developments kicked-started by the 2008 Culture Year (and the city’s 2007 800th Anniversary celebrations) to continue longer term, with a programme which has horizons well beyond those dates.
These forthcoming events are surely the way to make sure we’re on the ball for the Olympics, a position which is unique to Liverpool in the UK . By 2012 we will have put in place all the infrastructure and tourism facilities you could possibly wish for, and we will have learned a lot during our 2007/8 years in the limelight.
It’s up to all of us outside the capital to make sure that our Olympics ‘offer’ for 2012 is up to scratch. I don’t want to ask people now if they are worried about 2012. I’d prefer to ask how, already, they are engaging their imaginations to make 2012 a year when the whole country makes the most of chances to work together to show what we can do.
This is definitely one scenario where the glass is not half empty, but already half full – especially for Liverpool, 2008 European Capital of Culture. Let’s make sure the 2012 opportunity is relished, not rejected.

Posted on October 24, 2005, in Arts, Culture And Heritage, Equality, Diversity And Inclusion, Events And Notable Dates, Knowledge Ecology And Economy, Liverpool And Merseyside, Politics, Policies And Process. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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