Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Minutes of Evidence

Memorandum submitted by Manchester City Council, Manchester 2002 Ltd and Commonwealth Games Council for England


  1.1  The Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games are on target with plans and preparations well advanced for a major sporting and cultural celebration. Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) and International Olympic Committee (IOC) observers visited Manchester in November 2000 to carry out an audit on progress to date. After close scrutiny, the independent team reported that they were encouraged by the depth and thoroughness of 2002s planning and were confident that targets are being met on time.


  2.1  Plans for the largest Commonwealth Games sporting programme are well advanced. Working together with Commonwealth Games Associations and Sport Governing bodies, 14 individual and three team sports have been agreed. The spectacularly successful Team GB at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney have provided a huge boost to UK sport and athletes and media are now turning their sights to Manchester 2002 where elite athletes from England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Guernsey, Isle of Man and Jersey will aspire to medals, secure new Commonwealth records and most importantly, have the unique opportunity of competing at such a significant event in front of a home crowd.


  3.1  Preparations include significant progress on venues. With significant support from the Sport England Lottery Fund, six new venues will be provided for the Games and improvements made to others.

    —  Her Majesty the Queen formally opened the £32 million Manchester Aquatics Centre in October which was completed ahead of schedule and is now in use as a community facility and an elite training centre;

    —  The Bolton Arena is nearing completion and will open February 2001;

    —  Work on the City of Manchester Stadium is on target with building completion scheduled for December 2001 and fit-out for the Games completed by April 2002;

    —  Work is in progress on the new bowling facility at Heaton Park to ensure adequate time for the greens to bed in;

    —  A £6 million upgrade of the National Shooting Centre in Bisley, Surrey is being overseen by Sport England and will ensure a world class facility for the Games. Belle Vue Leisure Centre has been selected for the new Hockey facility which will include two water based pitches and an indoor training facility, again funded by the Sport England Lottery Fund at a cost of £3.2 million;

    —  The £16.7 million English Institute of Sport (EIS) will form part of a network of new regional sporting academies. It includes an Indoor Tennis Centre, the National Squash Centre, the National Cycling Centre, indoor and outdoor athletics facilities and comprehensive science/sports medicine services. Tenders are now being evaluated and site works will start early next year in accordance with programmes. The EIS also includes the Belle Vue Leisure Centre;

    —  Existing venues are being prepared for a temporary upgrade for the 2002 Games.


  4.1  In terms of timing, sponsorship income is ahead of target and positive discussions with potential sponsors take place on a daily basis.

  4.2  Negotiations are underway for the international sale of TV rights. With the BBC appointed as the Host Broadcaster the excellent quality of coverage is assured. The BBC as Domestic Broadcaster will provide 10 hours a day of Commonwealth Games coverage throughout the 10 days of the event.


  5.1  Planning for ticketing, transport, security, catering, accommodation, accreditation, media services, VIPs and the Athletes Village are on target. Manchester 2002 has taken full advantage of experience gained at the Sydney Olympics and the M2002 team includes a number of experts from Sydney who bring with them knowledge gleaned from staging the most successful Olympics ever.


  6.1  Games' organisers have received solid support from the Government, co-ordinated by a Ministerial Task Force chaired by The Rt Hon Ian McCartney MP. The Prime Minister's personal commitment has been clearly demonstrated by hosting important events. The announcement earlier this year of £10.5 million earmarked for the Opening and Closing ceremonies will ensure that Manchester and the UK will be showcased to the world in spectacular style.


  7.1  Plans for the recruitment of 15,000 volunteers are in place and working with Adecco, the official staffing supplier for the Games, progress is being made on identifying lead volunteers with professional experience. Recruitment generally will begin in April 2001. The first graduates of the Pre Volunteer Programme, aimed at socially excluded 16-24 year olds who live in SRB areas across the Northwest, have received Open Learning certificates after successfully completing 30 hours of training. "Graduates" are now able to take up a further 60 hours of training either in event volunteering or Sport England's sports management course in order to achieve a BTECH award, the first ever national qualification in event volunteering.


  8.1  The Spirit of Friendship Festival has appointed a national director who, with DCMS, DFEE, Sport England and the Arts Council for England will deliver a national festival of education, sport and culture. The Festival will embrace the modern Commonwealth's values of fairness and inclusivity and engage the nation from its start on Commonwealth Day, 11 March 2002, until 10 August 2002.


  9.1  Plans for the 2002 Games are on target and on course for success. Detailed information about progress is included in the report to the Commonwealth Games Federation delivered in September 2000. Copies of the report are attached[1].

  9.2  Manchester Games' organisers are confident that in 2002, coinciding with Her Majesty the Queen's Golden Jubilee, the best Games ever will be delivered, setting a new benchmark in the hosting of major international events.

December 2000

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