First Minister Alex Salmond today said we owe it to Scotland to deliver a real, positive and lasting legacy from the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
And while the funding for the Games and its supporting infrastructure has already been agreed between central and local government, the First Minister said that there was an overwhelming case for pursuing Lottery funding to support the legacy plans.
The First Minister was speaking at Hampden Park, Glasgow where he launched the consultation document which aims to engage the people of Scotland in the discussion about development of a Commonwealth Games legacy.
Mr Salmond said:
”My total elation after Glasgow won the 2014 Commonwealth Games is well documented, as is my commitment to support the first class delivery of the Games – the biggest sporting event ever to be hosted in Scotland.
“Today I want to stress my absolute commitment to securing a positive, real and lasting legacy for the people of Scotland following the Games.
”The Games has the potential to inspire long term change in Scotland by developing new skills, improving people’s health and reaping the full benefit of the global coverage of Glasgow and Scotland as host to a major, international sporting event.
“The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring the legacy is the right one. Not just for the people of Glasgow – for everyone living, working and visiting Scotland. This is why we have launched this consultation, to listen and talk to Scotland’s people and organisations to establish what they want the lasting effects of the Games to be.
“The commitment of Government and our key partners is reflected in the full funding of the Games including the stadium and infrastructure.
What we want to encourage and believe we have a strong case for is Lottery funding to enable us to secure a lasting legacy.
“It is well known that the funding for the London Olympics is costing Lottery good causes in Scotland some £150 million. It is entirely reasonable therefore to call for an equivalent sum to be returned to Scotland to help us deliver a real, lasting legacy for the whole of Scotland.
“The entire country is behind the 2014 Games. Consultation on the legacy is a first step in the process – the next steps will include pursuing lottery funding and developing our detailed legacy plans.”
Councillor Steven Purcell, leader of Glasgow City Council, said:
“There’s no question that the Commonwealth Games is the single biggest event that Glasgow could hope to host and they will enhance the city’s prosperity.
“However, I want everyone in the city to benefit from the legacy the Games will bring, and that means some of our citizens will need support, particularly in areas like unemployment and health inequalities.
“We have been presented with the best chance in a generation, and possibly a lifetime, to improve the lives and raise the aspirations of every Glaswegian. This consultation process will allow us to ensure that all of Glasgow’s citizens have the opportunity to reap the benefit.”
Michael Cavanagh, Chair of the Commonwealth Games Council for Scotland said:
“On behalf of the Commonwealth Games Council for Scotland, I welcome the publication of the 2014 Legacy Consultation.
“When the Games Council first investigated holding the Games in Scotland back in 2002, and then developed partnerships with Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Government to achieve that goal, legacy was a key driving force from the start of the process.
“This legacy was not only for our athletes and sports, but also for the wider impact on Glasgow and Scotland, in terms of the associated benefits outlined in the legacy consultation document.”
Sir Robert Smith, Chair of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Organising Company:
“The Games are about 11 days of world-class competition, but they are also about the provision of opportunities for generations to come.
“I very much welcome the decision by the First Minister to undertake a public
consultation on the Commonwealth Games in 2014.
“It is absolutely right that the public have the opportunity to respond to the ideas in the Legacy paper and express their views on the possible benefits arising from the Games.
“Through the Smith Group I’ve worked on finding solutions to help young people in Scotland access better opportunities for education, training and employment. I really hope that young people in particular will respond to the challenge and tell us what the Commonwealth Games could and should do for them.”