After efforts failed this week to move the Olympic boxing events from East London to Wembley, local Liberal Democrats are urging Olympic organisers, the Mayor of London and local councillors to consider Alexandra Palace as a possible alternative venue for boxing, badminton or rhythmic gymnastics.
Liberal Democrats believe moving an Olympic venue to Alexandra Palace, one of most iconic buildings in North London, would be an ideal opportunity for residents in Haringey to benefit from the Olympics, for more young people to be encouraged into sport and for the Olympics to have a lasting legacy in the borough.
Cllr David Winskill, Liberal Democrat Culture and Sport spokesperson, Cllr Robert Gorrie, Haringey Liberal Democrat Leader and Lynne Featherstone MP have written a joint letter to Sebastian Coe, Chair of the London 2012 Organising Committee Board, the Mayor of London and the Chair of Trustees at the Alexandra Palace urging them to consider Alexandra Palace.
Cllr David Winskill comments:
“Residents in Haringey are getting little, if any, direct benefit from the Olympics at the moment. News that badminton, boxing or gymnastics events need a new home is a fantastic opportunity for the Council to be proactive and ambitious.
“Alexandra Palace is an iconic building which has a long history of holding large and important events.
“It will not be easy and some investment in the Palace would be needed to get it up to standard. But this would be a great opportunity for the borough to be put on the Olympic map and for Alexandra Palace to get some well overdue investment. It would also ensure that North London would have a legacy of the Olympic post 2012.”
Lynne Featherstone, MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, adds:
“Residents in Haringey deserve to have a slice of the Olympic action. Alexandra Palace is a fabulous venue that has a long history of hosting large events including boxing.
“I really hope that the London 2012 Organising Committee seriously consider Ally Pally as an Olympic venue.”
Couldn’t agree more that Ally Pally would be a good venue for one or more of the smaller Olympic sports, and there would be a clear legacy in the form of investment which this fantastic building desperately needs. Given that I think the venue has already been discounted by the organisers, I think some serious campaigning is needed.
What an excellent idea! Alexandra Palace needs to be put to good use.