The Rt. Hon. Sir John Major KG CH

Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 1990-1997

1993Prime Minister (1990-1997)

Mr Major’s Speech to Launch Manchester Olympics Bid – 17 February 1993

Below is the text of Mr Major’s speech to launch the Manchester Olympics Bid, held at 10 Downing Street on Wednesday 17th February 1993.


Last February I announced that the Government was backing Manchester’s bid to host the Olympic Games in the year 2000. Today, I can present to you the Bid Document which was handed over to the International Olympic Committee of 1st February. It is a detailed presentation of why Manchester should be the Olympic City for the year 2000.

The Bid Document ranges over every aspect of the Games, from sports venues to security; it demonstrates that Manchester will provide world class facilities.

But the Manchester bid is more than just a superb technical achievement. It is a vision that the citizens of Manchester have for the City’s future and for their region.

I share that vision. The Manchester bid is the British bid. It is a national undertaking, strongly supported by the British Government. There could be no better start to the next millennium than hosting the 2000 Olympics in Britain.

Last February, I pledged 55 million pounds of Government funding to back the Bid up to the time when the International Olympic Committee takes its decision. We have kept that promise, and gone further by providing up to 20 million pounds more from within existing spending programmes – making a total of 75 million pounds.

– The Olympic Arena is now under construction
– Work is starting soon on the National Cycling Centre
– And the acquisition and clearance of the Olympic Stadium site is well under way.

I said last year that the bid would spearhead the regeneration of East Manchester. We have honoured that commitment too. The Government will be providing some 40 million pounds funding for East Manchester in 1993-94, on top of the direct Olympic investment.

We have also undertaken in the bid documents that if Manchester is chosen, the Government will ensure that all the necessary facilities will be built, partly by private finance and partly by substantial public funding. I am confident that there will be no shortage of private finance available – as we have already seen in the case of the Olympic Arena. But the Government is committed to ensure that the funding necessary to stage and organise the Games will be available. We also intend to legislate at the earliest opportunity to ensure that the Organising Committee for the Games has the necessary powers to plan and implement this event.

Most people love sport. But the Olympics will bring more than sport to the country. Manchester and the North West will benefit from a legacy of world class facilities and from a huge economic boost to the area.

Between now and September we will be showing the world what Manchester can offer. What Britain can offer. I myself will be visiting Lausanne in April to see the President of the International Olympic Committee, Juan Samaranch, and I will take that opportunity to promote Manchester’s bid. I believe we have a winning plan. We will seek to demonstrate to the IOC that there could be no better site for the Millennium Games than Manchester. With the enthusiasm and support of the people of Manchester we are going for gold and I believe we will get it.