The Olympics and North west Hampshire
28 May 2012
Below is a letter I have received from Jeremy Hunt about the above

24 May 2012

Dear George

London 2012 – bringing the magic to North West Hampshire and the South East

With the Torch handed over and the countdown to the Games begun, I wanted to write with some useful information about London 2012, and how people in your constituency and region can join in the celebrations.

Firstly, may I draw your attention to the latest fact pack from LOCOG, which is available at It provides a range of useful figures, information and myth-busters showing the scale of the programme and the different ways people can get involved, reinforcing the point that London 2012 will be everyone’s Games.

Clearly, every part of the country will celebrate the Games in its own unique way. I’m sure you will be aware of the many things going on in your constituency to mark the occasion. But I did want to emphasise three key things that will help spread the magic of London 2012 to your region.

1. The Torch Relay – 95 per cent of the population within easy reach of the Olympic Flame

Over the 70 days of the Torch Relay, 57 million people will be within 10 miles of the Olympic Flame as it is carried around the country. We also expect nine million people to line the streets to welcome the Flame.

The South East will play a starring role in the Torch celebrations, with evening celebrations in Oxford (July 9), Reading (July 10), Southampton (July 14), Portsmouth (July 15), Brighton & Hove (July 16), Hastings (July 17), Dover (July 18), Maidstone (July 19) and Guildford (July 20) and visiting more than 120 towns, villages and cities across the South East as well as key attractions such as Bletchley Park in Milton Keynes, Margate Turner Contemporary in Kent and Battle Abbey in East Sussex.

We want the Torch to be a trigger for local celebrations, and I know all MPs will be keen to champion these events and play their part in showing the very best face of their community to the world.

2. London 2012 Festival – 10 million opportunities to see something for free

Over the last four years, 14 million people across the UK have participated in a Cultural Olympiad event, making it one of the biggest sustained programmes of cultural activity ever.

As it reaches its climax with the 80-day London 2012 Festival, we want as many people as possible taking advantage of 10 million opportunities to see something for free this summer linked to the Games.

Among the many excellent events taking place across the South East are A Hansel of Film – Shetland to Southampton and back (9 Jun 2012); Tracy Emin’s ‘She Lay Down Deep Beneath the Sea’ (Margate Turner Contemporary, May – Sep 2012). A full list of London 2012 Festival events is available at I am also going to send you a hard copy of the festival brochure for your information.

3. Watching the events live – eight million Games tickets and Live Sites across the UK

But, of course, London 2012 is fundamentally about great sport. From the moment the Flame enters the Olympic Stadium on 27 July, to the moment it departs at the closing ceremony of the Paralympics on 9 September, we want our athletes to have the best home support.

In all, more than eight million Games tickets are going to UK residents. This represents 75 per cent of a total of 11 million tickets – and compares favourably to Beijing, where only 50 per cent of tickets went to local people. Two and a half million London 2012 tickets were priced less than £20.

More Olympic tickets went on sale on 13 May to those who were unsuccessful in the first ballot, and remaining tickets went on general sale on 23 May. Further Paralympic tickets went on sale from 21 May.

Even without a ticket, there are a number of ways for people to get into the spirit of London 2012 closer to home, including:

• Live Sites – every day of the Games, half a million people will watch the action live at 22 permanent Live Sites, along with 47 big screens covering every region. In the South East, there will be Live Sites based at Dover and Portsmouth.

• Community events – 8,000 Local Leaders are part of a Join In Campaign organising thousands of events running up to and during the Games, including Opening Night In, Super Saturday and the Last Night of the Games. There are also many other local activities planned as part of Host a Nation Week (16-22 July) where communities celebrate links with countries whose teams have training camps in the area.

• School engagement – across the UK, more than 2 million young people are getting involved in the Games through the ‘Get Set’ education programme, while across the South East 1863 schools are signed up to the School Games, which is using the excitement and spark of the Olympics and Paralympics to revitalise competitive sport in our schools.

With the likes of Iain Percy OBE, Ashley Jackson and Dani King coming from the South East, I know there will be plenty of local interest in Team GB performances throughout the summer – and if you want to add your voice to the chorus of support, then please direct any tweets or updates to our official Government Olympic twitter feed @2012govuk..

London 2012 is a big moment for Britain, and it’s important that people in North West Hampshire and the South East feel fully involved in the occasion. If we work together to promote these opportunities and encourage people to join in, then I’m sure we can make this an unforgettable summer of sport, culture and community.

Yours sincerely,

Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP
Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport
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