The 2012 Olympics will be celebrated in the West Midlands with arts events and school sports days, at a cost of at least £2 million.
But the funding promised so far is only a small proportion of the £40 million due to be spent across the country. Last night a Birmingham MP launched a campaign to ensure the region receives its fair share. Sion Simon (Lab Erdington) said: "It would be unacceptable if this money went to the South-east."
In March, the Government revealed the cost of staging the Olympics had soared to £9.2 billion, including £2.2 billion from the National Lottery. The Games, to be held in London, will inject huge sums of money into the East End of London but Ministers insist they will benefit the entire country. Tessa Jowell, the Minister for the Olympics, has announced plans for a national programme of cultural and sporting events, including one called the Big Arts Week and the World festival of Youth Culture.
The £40 million cost will be administered by a new body called the Legacy Trust. It includes £6 million from the Treasury, £5 million from the Arts Council and £29 million from the Lottery. However, only £2.2 million has been earmarked specifically for the West Midlands. Mr Simon has led a long-running campaign to convince Lottery cash distributors that Birmingham is receiving too little funding.
He said Last night: "Several deprived constituencies in Birmingham, including mine, have not had their fair share of lottery money since it started.
"If lottery money is going to be diverted away from us to the Olympics then we should have a guarantee that we are going to get a disproportionately high amount from the Olympics legacy trust.
"They should have a very good reason for giving a single penny to any place except disadvantaged communities out-side of London. There is no reason why there cannot be Olympic parks on every corner of Birmingham. What we don't want to see is Olympic street parties all over the South-east."
Ms Jowell said: "When we bid for London to host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, we bid on behalf of the whole country. I am absolutely determined that the benefits of hosting the Games are spread right across every nation and region of the UK. Legacy Trust UK will help make that happen, by giving out £40 million to cultural, artistic, educational and sporting activities that celebrate the 2012 Games.
"Some will be national projects, like the UK School Games. Others will be local, with each region and nation deciding what works best for them. But all will use 2012 as a catalyst to improve lives around the country."
James Purnell, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, said: "Our Cultural Olympiad will showcase the best of British culture to the world, and of world culture to Britain."
He added: "The Trust will also help us achieve our ambition of using the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games to inspire a generation of young people to learn about and get involved in their cultural heritage."
Birmingham also hopes to gain from the Games in other ways, including from publicity it will receive as the base of the US athletics team in 2012.
The original original budget for the Olympics, compiled in 2004, put construction costs at £2.375 billion, with a further £1 billion set aside for regeneration costs and another £700 million coming from the private sector.
In March this year Tessa Jowell told Parliament the budget had risen to £9.3 billion.