Royal Borough aims to cash in on Olympic legacy

By Rob Virtue on August 10, 2012 10:26 AM |

Nick Raynsford chatting with locals_low res.jpg

Greenwich plays hosts to millions of day-trippers each year but the town is about to move up a level thanks to images flashed around the world during the Olympics, according to the area's MP.

Labour's Nick Raynsford said new hotels springing up would keep people in the Royal Borough for longer, benefitting businesses.

"Greenwich has got a lot of tourism already but the long-term legacy is hotels so people can visit a lovely location, with a beautiful park, the Cutty Sark, at a riverside destination," he said. "I can't think of a better place in London to stay. As a result of the Olympics we will see Greenwich easily be able to cope as an overnight destination."

Mr Raynsford, who was talking to The Wharf while on a visit to the Greenwich Union pub at Royal Hill last week, said having Olympic venues at both The O2 and Greenwich Park would further raise the profile of the borough.

"It's great having six events here," he said. "It's looked absolutely spectacular.

"It's the first time in recent history the equestrian events are being held in the host city. In the case of China it was held in Hong Kong! This is the heart of the Games."

Nick Raynsford_Daniel Persson changing barrel_low res.jpg

Mr Raynsford was at the Greenwich Union working a shift behind the bar for the evening in an initiative by the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group designed to gain a better understanding of the pub trade.

He was one of a number of MPs to take part in the scheme and said it was worthwhile to see how such a hub of the community operated.

He added the Union, run by Greenwich business Meantime Brewery, was a shining light for other firms in the area.

"It's a successful local business grown from a small microbrewery to London's second biggest brewery," said Mr Raynsford. "I recently saw it sold in the Armani store in Milan which is testament to its reach now.

"It's important to get MPs to understand how a business like this operates. What service involves and what the industry needs.

"The industry is having a tough time because of some short-term factors such as the economic position. Then there are issues such as taxation but everyone recognises it's an important part of the community. I'm pleased to see Meantime successful."