Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Minutes of Evidence

Supplementary Memorandum submitted by Sheffield City Council and Sheffield International Venues


  We are delighted to be called to give evidence to the Select Committee and attach supplementary written evidence for the Committee's attention.

  In summary, Sheffield is ready, willing and able to host the World Athletics Championships in 2005 and could do so at a fraction of the cost for Picketts Lock. We would be able to draw on our extensive experience of hosting national and international sporting events over more than a decade and the whole city would get behind making the event a success. In fact, the only requirement for holding the games that we are not able to meet is that we are not a capital city.

  Much of the media coverage of this issue has been inaccurate and misleading. To put the position beyond doubt we should make clear:

    —  we did not seek to "lure" the Championships away from London, but put forward Sheffield to the Carter Review as an effective and affordable UK option should the Pickets Lock proposal not prove feasible; and

    —  our discussions were done entirely through the Carter Review team and subsequently DCMS officials, and did not at any stage involve Ministers.

  More worrying perhaps than the inaccuracies has been the poor understanding of many national commentators of the capacity and potential of Britain's major cities. Such negative views of "second cities" would not be held elsewhere in Europe. The "London-Centric" attitudes that pervade much thinking in this country have implications that go well beyond sport.

  We hope that the IAAF will not dismiss the Sheffield proposal without first having visited the city and seen what we have to offer.

15 October 2001

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