July 2, 2008 12:00 AM

New research by the Liberal Democrats, and raised in parliament today by Jenny Willott MP, has found that Wales is losing out to other parts of the UK, in particular London and the South East, when it comes to securing contracts for the 2012 Olympics.

Despite having nearly 5% of the UK's businesses, Wales has gained just 0.3% of the contracts so far.

By contrast, London and the South East have won nearly 70% of the contracts awarded so far, although only 31% of UK businesses are based in these regions.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat Shadow Culture, Media and Sport Secretary, Don Foster said:

"These figures undermine the UK Government's promise that all parts of the country will benefit from the 2012 Games. The £6bn-worth of contracts should be an opportunity for all parts of the UK.

"Every area is contributing to the Games, and every area must benefit."

Jenny Willott, MP for Cardiff Central, raised the issue in Welsh Questions in parliament today and urged the Minister for Wales to have urgent talks with the Olympics Minister to find ways of getting a better deal for Wales.

Commenting, she said,

"Over a third of this money has already been allocated, which makes it particularly crucial that the remaining contracts are distributed more equally. More must be done to ensure that the Wales gets a fair chance.

"I hope every business in Wales will look at the 2012 Business Website to see what opportunities exist."

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