Supplementary memorandum submitted by
1. In what state is the national strategy
and framework for major events following the failure of the 2006
FIFA World Cup bid and the withdrawal of London from hosting the
IAAF World Championships?
What are the prospects for a Summer
The national strategy for securing and staging
major events has been shared with the Select Committee. As has
been previously explained, its development followed an exhaustive
consultation with key stakeholders from all sectors. Government
and the home country Sports Council have endorsed it. At its heart
is the objective of capitalising on the potential events provided
for the further development of sport for example, in terms of
medal success, attraction of new participants, recruitment and
training of volunteers and officials. The strategy also recognizes
that well organised events contribute positively to the image
and international attractiveness of the UK and bring economic
benefits to the city, region and nation. The strategy envisaged
the UK securing the four biggest sporting events in the world
over and 10-15 year period culminating in a bid for a London based
Olympics. As such, the WCA was a key element in demonstrating
the capacity and ability of London to stage the blue ribbon event
of the Olympic programme. As has been explained in our evidence
the fact that the UK is reneging on its commitment to provide
a London venue for the WCA will have a damaging impact on our
international reputation. This is compounded by having requested
and secured an agreement from the IAAF to move the date of our
hosting from 2003 to 2005 and from a redeveloped Wembley to a
purpose built athletics stadium in Picketts Lock. As international
competition for events increases, such a history can be exploited
by our competitors and undermine the efforts of those bidding
for future events. This is less so the case with the 2006 World
Cup campaign as we mounted a well-respected and credible bid and
were beaten by strong opposition. We were not tested on our ability
to deliver on our promises for this event. The strategy will require
reviewing, something already underway as we continue to work with
the national governing bodies to develop and refine their event
strategies. We can clearly build on the excellent record we have
been developing since 1997 with over 35 World, European and Commonwealth
level events successfully staged in the UK to world class standard.
We must build on this strength.
2. The previous Committee's report on
Wembley (HC 164 1999-2000) stated that there "seems to have
been a disjuncture between the private advice offered to the Government
by UK Sport and the public position of UK Sport in the subsequent
debate." (Paragraph 81). Can you clarify what advice UK Sport
offered to the then Secretary of State on the removal of athletics
from the Wembley National Stadium proposal?
Previous evidence from Sir Rodney to the Select
Committee relating to the removal of the platform in December
1999 has been based around the phrase "once the Secretary
of State had decided to make his announcement it was probably
correct at the time due to the uncertainty raised by the DLA/Ellerbe
Becket Report". I should now advise the Committee that I
met with the Secretary of State on 8 December 1999 and strongly
advised him against making the announcement in December in order
that we could have more time to examine the conclusions reached
in the Ellerbe Becket Report. The Secretary of State, as we know,
rejected that advice. We now know that the problems raised in
the report were capable of being resolved which gives rise to
the way in which I have answered the Committee's questions previously.
3. Sir Rodney Walker was reported in
the press recently as sponsoring an alternative plan for a Wembley
stadium which preserves the twin towers and incorporates a platform
solution to the athletic/football conundrum. If true, was this
being done with a UK Sport hat on?
Can you confirm whether the architects
behind this alternative scheme are DLA/Ellerbe Becket whose 1999
report for UK Sport led to the removal of athletics from the Wembley
Sir Rodney Walker raised the Genesis Consortium
proposal in his capacity as Chair of WNSL and is most certainly
not sponsoring the plan. He first met with representatives of
the Consortium on 14 August after Patrick Carter had begun his
work. He advised Messrs Kirby and Nally, representatives of the
Consortium that he was only prepared to consider their project
in detail if they came back to him with a fully worked up, costed
and funded scheme. They returned on 1 October, together with Consortium
members representing the architects, accountants and bankers and
left with him three complete copies of their proposals. The scheme
envisaged that neither the Football Association nor the Government
would be required to provide funding and, whilst there were obvious
deficiencies within the scheme presented to him, he felt that
he had no alternative but to present copies to the FA and Government.
A third copy was given to the GLA who had indicated to Sir Rodney
at a number of recent meetings that they now wished to become
more actively involved in assisting the scheme at Wembley.
I can confirm that the architects to the scheme
are DLA/Ellerbe Becket.
4. UK Athletics complains that it did
not receive a copy of the Carter report until 4 Octoberthe
day that decisions were announced. Did UK Sport see a copy before
this date? Why do you think there was no consultation on the conclusions
of the report? Is this good practice?
Did not UK Sport itself treat
publication of the 1999 Ellerbe Becket report on athletics at
Wembley in the same unhelpful way. Why was that?
UK Sport did not receive an advanced copy of
the Carter report. We printed the resumé off the Web. We
indicated to the Committee our disappointment at not being consulted
by Mr Carter as the NDPB was given the role by government for
major events. Mr Carter seemed not to know of us or of our Royal
Charter and our designated UK role.
UK Sport was asked to undertake the co-ordination
of the Ellerbe Becket report and successfully obtained full co-operation
from all parties. On instruction from the Minister circulation
to all parties was delayed for 24 hours.
5. Will UK Sport now be undertaking
a feasibility study of the chances for success of a Sheffield
bid? Do you expect to receive an application for Lottery funds
to support a bid?
The responsibility for final selection of a
city to bid for the WCA lies with UKA, not the Government nor
UK Sport. If UKA conclude Sheffield fits their event strategy
and contributes to their overall business development plan, we
would be asked by them to assess such a bid as part of the overall
UK major events strategy. We would undertake the same evaluation
we do for other events assessing such aspects as infrastructure
capacity and appropriateness, operational expertise and financial
viability, opportunities for development and legacy to the sport
and the region, risk assessment of critical factors including
the ability of the bid to succeed in an international competition.
As was explained in our verbal evidence, no such approach has
6. You write that the only viable option
now is to revisit Picketts Lock. Is this really a credible proposal?
Is it not an invitation for derision from the world sporting community
and others not least the IAAF?
Have you put this proposal to the
Government? If so, what response have you received?
Our evidence suggested five possible options
and looked at the pros and cons of each. In suggesting revisiting
Picketts Lock, we were cogniscent of the IAAF desire that every
effort be made to see if Picketts Lock could be made to work.
A more modest design brief and a forcefully negotiated design-build
contract may have delivered a stadium for less cost. As Sir Rodney
noted in his evidence, the redevelopment of a 32,000 seat stadium
for Leicester City FC is costing £31 million suggesting to
us that if properly challenged, architects should be able to deliver
a 43,000 athletics stadium for the £60 million currently
earmarked. On the transport, if Government were convinced of the
importance of the event to the country's reputation and future
hosting aspirations, it would be possible to advance and fast
tack the necessary transport infrastructure improvements as has
been achieved by other countries. However, the Committee will
recall that our final conclusion was that withdrawal was in all
probability the only viable option necessitating a damage limitation
exercise with the IAAF. We provided Government with a copy of
our evidence and drew attention to our assessment of the options
as we saw them.
7. You say in your memorandum that,
apart from the Olympics, the UK's ability to secure World and
European level events is unlikely to be damaged except in competitive
circumstances. Are you in fact saying that the UK will continue
to secure major events but only those no-one else particularly
The Sports Councils between them recognize over
85 different sports. These have World, European and Commonwealth
Championships of varying sizes and significance. To suggest that
the failure of Picketts Lock will irreparably damage the UK's
ability to secure events across this range of sports is clearly
not the case. Indeed, plans are well advanced for the staging
of the IAAF's second most important event, the World Indoor Championships
in Athletics, in Birmingham in 2003. The success of this event
is critical to our reputation within the IAAF and to sport generally.
It is our belief however, that where competition for the securing
of an event is stiff, our competitors will be able to exploit
the Picketts Lock history to their advantage and plant seeds of
doubt in the minds of the decision makers on UK's reliability.
This will be especially true if an event requires new facility
construction or transport infrastructure improvements.
8. When asked why the UK needed a big
athletics stadium, Patrick Carter told us that he "could
find no policy that said why we did these things" and he
did "not know whether there is a policy to pursue major events
and back them up financially or not". Is this a fair criticism
of the position in the UK?
This is not a fair criticism. As explained by
Richard Callicott, Mr Carter and his team made no contact with
UK Sport despite our lead role in major events and our funding
of the bid to secure the event. Mr Carter was forwarded a copy
of UK Sport's policy and strategy immediately following his evidence
to the Committee when we became aware of his lack of knowledge
of this documentation. No reply or follow-up has been received
to this approach.
30 October 2001