Scottish Government announce plans to promote Scotland at London Olympics

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By a Newsnet reporter 

A facility especially designed to promote Scotland is to be set up in order to capitalise on international exposure offered by the holding of the Olympic Games in London.

The Scottish Government will host a ‘Scotland House’ facility in London during the Olympic Games to present Scotland to the world.

Similar in style to Scotland House at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006 and Delhi in 2010, the facility will be a mix of formal events and receptions as well as a base for business meetings and the families of Scottish athletes.

Sport Minister Shona Robison said: “London 2012 is a huge opportunity to showcase Scotland to a global audience.

“People and companies from all over the world will come to London to meet, interact and do business during the Olympics and we want to maximise the opportunities of having representatives of all 204 Olympic countries in London.

“With representation from our enterprise, tourism, sport creative and event agencies, Scotland House will host an eye catching programme of formal and informal events including of the best of our food, drink and music.

“In the build up to 2014 and the year of homecoming it will be a platform for Scottish and international visitors to network, do business and help sell Scotland to the world.”

Six world-famous Scots have already lent their support to the venture – including Nicola Benedetti, Colin Montgomerie and Emilie Sande. The Princess Merida character from the hit movie Brave will also feature at the location.

Renowned violinist Nicola Benedetti said:

“I’m delighted to be part of a team representing Scotland in showing London the best of what we have to offer during the Olympics this summer.”

Included in a host of groups and organisations taking part are four of Glasgow 2014’s Youth Legacy Ambassadors who will be flying the flag for Scottish young people at the location by reporting on their experiences during the Games and taking part in the range of events.

23 year old Gary Grieve, from South Lanarkshire, who will be heading to London told of his excitement at the prospect and said it was “a wonderful opportunity for me to experience the Olympics ahead of Glasgow 2014.”

He added: “It will give me the chance to tell a lot of people what I have been doing in Scotland, in terms of Sport and Culture but also to explain what Scotland has to offer in terms of travel and tourism. This experience is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I will make sure I leave with more knowledge of other organisations, countries and the Olympics.”

Louise Macdonald, Chief Executive of Young Scot, echoed Gary’s thoughts saying the idea offered the opportunity to showcase the things that “make Scotland brilliant”, adding:

“Young Scot’s Youth Legacy Ambassadors have been working really hard for the last two years to champion the lasting legacy of the Games 2012/2014. We believe that they will give visitors at Scotland House a real insight into the positive and inspiring work young Scots are doing across right the country.”

Scotland House will open on 27 July and run until 12 August.  The facility is a partnership between the Scottish Government, VisitScotland, EventScotland, Scottish Enterprise, Creative Scotland, sportscotland, with input from Glasgow 2014, Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and Marketing Edinburgh.

The facility will be situated at 36-39 Pall Mall, close to the British Business Embassy at Lancaster House, Dover House and the London 2012 Non-accredited Media Centre and only half an hour by tube to the Olympic Park.

David Grevemberg, Chief Executive of Glasgow 2014, said:

“Scotland House provides a valuable opportunity to promote Glasgow 2014’s vision for an outstanding athlete-centred and sports-focused Commonwealth Games to national and international audiences.

“In two years’ time, Glasgow and Scotland have the opportunity to shine on the world stage and we look forward to sharing our excitement and ambition at this stage of our journey.”

Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland said the London Games was an opportunity to showcase Scotland.

“Scotland House will provide the platform for activity, which will engage the huge international audience in London for the Games. The Olympics have been one of the key strands of activity this year for the organisation and, with an independent report estimating the value for tourism for the Games and its legacy at £185 million, it is vital we grasp this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” he said, adding:

“VisitScotland and the team at EventScotland will take full advantage of this magnificent opportunity to promote Scotland to international trade, media and stakeholders through a number of bespoke events.

“We are in a fortunate position to be working with some of Scotland’s most exciting organisations, which will help us to promote the best of our food and drink; cultural and creative industries; and sporting successes.

“Our golf event and trade reception in particular are hugely exciting and will help us to continue promoting Scotland as a must-visit tourism destination across the world and as the perfect stage for our major international events in 2014.”

Scott Taylor, Chief Executive – Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said his group were “delighted to be co-hosting a media reception in partnership with Glasgow2014 at Scotland House.”

He added: “The event presents us with the unparalleled opportunity to showcase Glasgow’s cultural, music, design and sporting credentials to the international media who will be based in London during the Olympic Games.”