Letter, 26 January 2001, from the then
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport to the Chairman
of Sport England
LEE VALLEY NATIONAL ATHLETICS STADIUM
Following Rodney Walker's announcement that
Wembley will not be able to put forward a proposal to accommodate
the 2005 World Athletics Championship, we have the necessary clarity
that a new stadium at Lee Valley is the best option for that event.
I know that work on that project has continued but the reassessment
of the Wembley option by WNSL has inevitably been something of
a distraction. It is helpful to have all of this behind us.
There can be no doubt of the importance of the
World Athletics Championships to athletics and to the whole of
sport in this country. It is an opportunity to demonstrate our
ability to deliver the facilities and organisation necessary to
stage major international events in this country, and will have
significance for our ability to secure more such events in the
future. I am sure you will share my desire to ensure there is
a worthwhile legacy from the Games for athletics in particular.
I believe it is now time to shift up a gear
both in progressing the project and in ensuring that clear positive
messages are given. Sport England will have a key role and I know
you will ensure that your officers who are working on the project
give it the priority and the energy which will be essential if
it is to be delivered on time. Kate Hoey and I, and our officials,
stand ready to give help and support. I should be grateful if
you would continue to take a close personal interest in the project
and keep us informed of its progress and of any issues or opportunities
where we might be able to help. Perhaps we can touch on this when
we meet to discuss the Sport England Funding Agreement next month.