London 2012 sets sail

Sport Business News

The UK's Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) has completed its construction work on the first venue for the 2012 Olympic Games with work completed on new enhanced sailing facilities at the Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA).

The completion of works at Weymouth & Portland was joined by the announcement that the National Lottery has raised £375m of its £750m target for the London 2012 Games, through sales of specially–designated Lottery games. The money raised will go towards funding the provision of facilities and supporting infrastructure for the 2012 Games. The Olympic and Paralympic sailing events in 2012 will be hosted at the Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy, and the adjoining Portland Marina, which offers world–class facilities and some of the best small boat sailing conditions in the world. The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) has now completed work to enhance the existing sailing facilities at WPNSA with the construction of a new permanent 250m slipway and new race–boat parking, lifting and mooring facilities. The completion of the project delivers an early legacy of world–class facilities for elite athletes and the local Dorset community to use. Works on Portland Marina, which will be used alongside the Sailing Academy to provide berthing and land based facilities at Games time is progressing ahead of schedule, meaning all key facilities will be ready more than three years ahead of the start of the Games. Olympics minister Tessa Jowell said: "Weymouth and Portland will be a first class venue for 2012 as well as leaving an impressive legacy at one of the UK's premier sailing destinations. This will do much to increase popularity and participation in the sport with all the benefits to health and fitness that will bring. To have completed the first Olympic and Paralympic venue over three years before the start of the Games is a tremendous achievement and demonstrates the excellent progress we are making on London 2012. "The ODA's completion of enhanced sailing facilities is only the first phase in the wider regeneration of Weymouth & Portland ahead of the 2012 Games. Dean & Reddyhoff Marinas was selected by the South West Regional Development Agency (SWRDA) to develop and operate a new 560–berth commercial marina at Osprey Quay of which 250 berths will be used during the 2012 Games. Work on the marina is well underway and it is on target to open in April 2009. The development also includes new marine retail and commercial units, bringing enormous social and economic regeneration to the local area. Tony Bray, Dorset area director for the South West RDA, which bought the Osprey Quay site in 2000, said: "The Games could bring an estimated £1. 7bn to the South West economy and the regeneration of Osprey Quay as a global centre for sailing excellence and a magnet for leisure and marine industries will help achieve that. It will leave a lasting legacy long after 2012 and help unlock the area's business potential. " The enhanced facilities that the ODA has constructed will further enhance WPNSA's reputation as a world–class training and competition venue. With the new facilities in place, the Academy is already lined up to host the RS:X World Championship, the Techno Junior Windsurfing World Championship and Skandia sail For Gold Regatta in 2009, as well as the IFDS (Paralympic Sailing) World Championship in 2011.

Additional information