The 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games is three years away and yet projects are ahead of schedule.
Lord Coe, chairman of the London Organising Committee told BBC News that they have met all 10 milestones the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) had set for this stage of the preparations.
We are a little bit further ahead of bang on target. Not only is this project on track but it will actually deliver some extraordinary prizes, Coe added.
Recently Lord Coe wrote about these developments in The Telegraph.
“When I delivered our bid to the International Olympic Committee in Singapore four years ago, a central part of our commitment was to seize the once in a lifetime opportunity of regenerating neglected east London, and to provide jobs, opportunities and hope for generations to come. And we re doing that,” he wrote.
UK jobs in the capital are benefiting from the developments and will continue to do so according to him.
“Our delivery partner, the Olympic Delivery Authority, has sought work worth more than £3.5 billion from 935 companies, while we expect 75,000 business opportunities to have become available by 2012,” he added.
Although the recession could be seen as the worst time ever for any country to host an expensive event like the Olympic Games, there are many who believe that it could be the solution to surviving it.
BBC News reports on a statement made by IOC president Jacques Rogge who justified his confidence in the country to host the event during such a turbulent point in time.
The Games have survived difficult times before. They have survived and thrived because of what they mean to people all over the world,” he said.
The Games remind us that the transient difficulties of life can be overcome through hard work and determination.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson recently wrote in the London Evening Standard that the Games create a sense of hope and euphoria.
“We are going to put on the greatest show on earth, and to use the investment to transform parts of London that have been neglected for decades. I am determined to use these Olympics to help generate jobs, and to improve the whole city,” he wrote.
Current Olympic jobs and future opportunities for employment leading up to the event often mistakenly fall only under the construction label, seeing as this is the most obvious.
However, construction jobs aren’t the only jobs that will stem from the Games.
London Evening Standard reports that the budget hotels group, Travelodge has invested £84m on six different properties in London as well as creating 200 new jobs in catering and hospitality.
“We have long stated our aim of being the lead brand in London by the time of the Games. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the tourism industry and we intend to take it with both hands,” Grant Hearn, Travelodge s chief executive told the publication.
Catering and Hospitality could see more opportunities opening up as companies enlarge before 2012.
Like Sarah (24) a waitress from Devon who has recently relocated to London to try for a better job.
“Luckily I wasn’t looking for too long. I am now employed at a company that expanded with a new restaurant in East London in order to benefit most from the Games,” she said.
Although the Olympics is still far away, Sarah thinks she wouldn’t have found a job easily or even at all, if it wasn’t for the prospect of the Games.
The capital is buzzing with excitement as restaurants, hotels and tourist attractions improve and gear up to accommodate all the tourists that will be flooding the city.
Government officials and organizers of the event daily express their excitement towards the current developments as well as the future of the UK.
But what do you think?
Peter (44) a restaurant manager in Kent thinks that London and London only will reap the profits from the event.
“I think the majority of the tourists will eat and stay in East London or as close to it as possible,” he said.
Karen (29) from Manchester is still optimistic about what the Olympics can do for the city she lives in.
“The Olympics will be good for the economy but I hope smaller businesses will benefit as much as large companies and that other cities in the UK such as Manchester will also enjoy regeneration as a result of the Games,” she said.
“So far though preparation for the Olympics has not done much in my opinion to help the thousands of people who lost their jobs as a result of the recession,” Karen added.
Gary (28) from Reading is irritated by all the sceptical comments people have been making.
“I think it will give the economy an enormous boost. Yes, money is being spent but the UK is the first country to host a go green Olympics making it something different and interesting,” he said.
According to a Redhill and Reigate Life article, the ODA estimates that 75,000 contracts worth around £6bn will be won nationally leading up to the Games as well as during, and that the South East for example will benefit economically with £1bn.
Surrey County Council has pledged to assist businesses with as much help as possible to make sure that the county’s businesses claim their share.
“Now is the time to give our businesses the help and advice they need to clinch work on offer in the run up to, and during, the Olympics,” Denise Saliagopoulos, county council cabinet member told the publication.
“Surrey is well placed to benefit from the Olympic effect because the county is between two major airports and has key road and rail links into London, and we intend to ensure businesses in the county get the maximum benefit,” she added.
Let’s fast forward our thoughts to the year 2013…
The Olympic Games are done, tourists have come and gone and let’s say the ODA was right and the UK economy has done as well as they anticipated.
Now what? Surely the new stadiums that were built won’t be barred up to only use the next time London is honoured by hosting the Olympic Games again?
“After the Games, that momentum will carry forward as we will have addressed key issues such as the lack of swimming and cycling facilities in the capital and will have left legacy and infrastructure for future generations to enjoy,” Lord Coe wrote in his article in The Telegraph.
According to the UK Press Association the Olympic Park could now host events like Twenty20 cricket, London Fashion Week and farmers’ markets.
Everyone has an opinion about the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympic Games, some bad, some indifferent and some great.
However, the fact remains that if the UK didn’t have this event to create extra jobs and added business, there would have been thousands more left jobless, and millions left with not even a glimmer of hope for things to get better.