With five days to go until the Opening Ceremony, the First Minister Alex Salmond, chaired the final meeting of the Glasgow 2014 Strategic Group at the magnificent SSE Hydro in Glasgow this morning (Friday July 18, 2014). The venue is going through its final preparations to transform into a spectacular sporting stage for the Commonwealth’s top rhythmic gymnasts who start competing there from next Thursday.
It was confirmed that a provision of £5.2 million would be put in place to be managed at Games time by the Games Executive Committee (GEC) which has the delegated authority of the Strategic Group.
Following the meeting the First Minister also announced a £3.5million investment from the Special Reserve to improve the spectator experience by increasing transport and traffic services, including enhancements to Park and Ride facilities. The Special Reserve was created as a fund of £23.84m which forms part of the Games’ overall budget.
The success of Glasgow 2014’s Ticketing Programme ensures packed stadia across the sporting programme. The transport team has analysed and predicted the travel patterns of ticket holders and other visitors to the city. Park and Ride enhancements have been identified as a key part of travel plans and keeping the city moving at Games time.
From today, the GEC, on which all Games Partners are represented, is responsible for Games operations and has the delegated authority of the Strategic Group throughout Games time through to dissolution of the Organising Committee.
“Around 4,500 athletes from 71 competing Commonwealth nations and territories will compete in Glasgow and it gives me enormous pleasure to say Scotland is ready to host the greatest Games ever.
“A tremendous amount of work has gone into delivery of this sporting event over the last seven years and I’m delighted to announce that these Games are on time and within budget. That is an almost unprecedented position for a major event of this type and is testament to the immense planning, knowledge, expertise and sheer determination that everyone involved in the Games has shown.
“The eyes of the world will be on Scotland and we are ready to shine! With over a million tickets sold and 15,000 clyde-sider volunteers starting to play their part in making the Games a great success, the city is abuzz with anticipation.
This is the biggest sporting and cultural event Scotland has hosted and this Government is determined to maximise benefits beyond 2014. The delivery on the Games is on track and the economic impact is already being felt across our communities. Glasgow 2014 is something for the whole country to be proud of and I for one cannot wait for the action to begin and to get behind Team Scotland.”
Lord Smith of Kelvin KT, Chairman of the Glasgow 2014 Organising committee said:
“With five days to go until the start of Scotland’s biggest and most popular sporting festival the people of Glasgow and Scotland can take real pride in the history-making Games that, together, we have created for the Commonwealth.
As an Organising Committee we set out with a vision of delivering an athlete centred, sports focused Games of world-class competition that would be celebrated across the Commonwealth and create enormous pride in Glasgow and Scotland and leaving a lasting legacy.
“Thanks to the people of Glasgow and Scotland, a world-class stage is now set. We are redefining the Commonwealth Games for a new generation.”
Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council said:
“We are ready to host the best ever Games, but I’ve always said we will have failed if we don’t leave a lasting legacy for Glaswegians.
“Today I’m proud to publish our pre Games Legacy Story which shows we’ve brought 4500 young or unemployed people into a job or an apprenticeship, nearly doubled the number of qualified sport coaches in the city, and used the Games to secure £200 million of contracts for Glasgow companies.”
Michael Cavanagh, Chairman Commonwealth Games Scotland said:
“We are delighted that the final pieces are in place to host a Commonwealth Games the whole nation can be proud of and one which extends a warm welcome to 70 countries from across the Commonwealth.
“Working closely with our sporting partners, Team Scotland has selected its largest ever, and best-prepared Team. For our 310 athletes, the excitement is building as they move into the Athletes’ Village, aiming to achieve Scotland’s most successful Commonwealth Games.”
DCC Steve Allen, Gold Commander, Police Scotland said:
“The Commonwealth Games event is about people working together to deliver a world class spectacle. The safety and security team consists of police officers and staff, military personnel, prison service colleagues and the largest single component being delivered by the private sector.
“Working together in new and innovative ways we have already started to deliver a leading-edge safety and security operation that will create an environment in which the highest aspirations for the event can be met.
“We are proud to be part of the team delivering a Games experience that will resonate around the country long after the athletes have gone home and the security fences have come down."