HC Deb 27 July 1998 vol 317 cc10-1
10. Mr. Graham Stringer (Manchester, Blackley)

If he will make a statement on the building of the new national stadium. [50776]

The Minister for Sport (Mr. Tony Banks)

I am pleased with the progress to date on the building of a new national stadium, which will be a vital ingredient for a successful world cup bid for 2006 and for a future Olympics. It is still early days but, as all the partners are working productively together, I am confident that they can meet the objective of developing a new stadium for football, athletics and rugby league in which the nation can take great pride.

Mr. Stringer

I welcome my hon. Friend's reply and agree that first-rate sporting facilities are a prerequisite for bringing the world cup and Olympic games to this country. Does he recall that, when the Sports Council decided that the new national stadium would be a revamped Wembley, it also announced a new stadium for the Commonwealth games in Manchester in 2002. May we look forward to a similar response on progress towards a first-rate stadium in Manchester for those games?

Mr. Banks

My hon. Friend knows that the Government are absolutely committed to ensuring a successful Commonwealth games in Manchester in 2002—there is no equivocation whatever about that. He will also know from his privileged position in Manchester that considerable discussions are continuing on how to deliver those games and a stadium. We must ensure that the Commonwealth games in 2002 are a great success; they are, after all, still one of the greatest sporting events on the planet and they must work as well in this country as I know that they will in Kuala Lumpur later this year.

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