Pembrokeshire Musn't Lose Out to the Olympics

Pembrokeshire AM Paul Davies has raised fears that local charities will lose out because of the cost of hosting the Olympics in London in 2012.

It is estimated that the voluntary sector in Wales could see £7.5 million of its funding channelled to help pay for the Games.

"If the impact was shared across parliamentary constituencies, then Preseli Pembrokeshire would lose around £730,000," he said.

Mr Davies, who is shadow sports minister, met Olympic organisers including Lord Coe last October.

He is concerned that Welsh sports minister Rhodri Glyn Thomas has so far failed to meet anyone from the organising committee.

"If, as it appears, Wales’s arts and sporting community is to suffer as a result of the Olympic Games, then it is vital that the Assembly Government and Government ministers start engaging with Olympic organisers about tourism opportunities relating to Wales," Mr Davies told the Senedd.

It is hoped that Wales will host eight Olympic football matches, probably at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. There is also the possibility that Welsh training facilities will be used by cyclists and swimmers.

However figures obtained last year revealed that Welsh charities could lose out on more than £29 million of lottery money as funds are diverted to the Olympic pot. The Arts Council for Wales alone says that it may lose £8 million from its budget.

"Hosting the Olympic Games is a huge honour and nothing should take away from that," added Mr Davies. "However it must be funded in a fair way with the areas that will get the longer term benefits from infrastructure improvements paying more."