Reasons to to be cheerful Part 2

23 03 2009

The Olympics

It is a gloomy Monday morning here in London so my thoughts have turned again to my occasional series on good things that might come out of the recession. The Olympics is a beacon of light on the horizon for two reasons and potentially for a third.

Firstly the event itself of course on which I will not dwell too long.  It is only really the athletics which really gets me going although I have enough residual patriotism to recognise the achievement of the cyclists and the rowers. Mainly it is the knowledge of the huge amount of sheer bloody hard work of all those who take part which I find inspiring.

Secondly, the economic impact on London is and will be huge,and could be very significant. The amounts spent on building the site have come at a great time considering what else is going on, plus the fact that it cannot be cancelled  however deep in trouble we are.The regeneration of  parts of east London will be a lasting legacy of the games.

However,it could be much better. Currently the legacy plans for the Olympic site are fairly modest.  The location of the site,right next to the City of London and close to all international travel routes, would be an ideal place for a new and vibrant economic community to develop. If we set up a Special Investment Zone(SIZ) after the Games are over it have a galvanising impact on innovation in the UK.

This SIZ would be a place where new businesses could set up with tax and rent breaks to get them going. This is a once in a century opportunity to set up a new zone of innovation in the UK which could replace the failing financial sector as a motor for the UK economy. It would also act as a boost for the inadequate venture capital sector here.

 Here is an opportunity to make a statement about what kind of economy we want to have this century. It is time for real boldness on the part of our political leaders.

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