UEFA Euro 2028

Culture, Media and Sport – in the House of Commons am ar 16 Tachwedd 2023.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Eddie Hughes Eddie Hughes Ceidwadwyr, Walsall North

What steps she is taking to help support preparations for UEFA Euro 2028.

Photo of Bob Blackman Bob Blackman Ceidwadwyr, Harrow East

What steps she is taking to help support preparations for UEFA Euro 2028.

Photo of Stuart Andrew Stuart Andrew Assistant Whip, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport), Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Equalities)

The Government are delighted that the UK and Ireland have secured the right to host Euro 2028. This will be the biggest joint event our islands have ever hosted, building on our world- leading track record of delivering major sporting events and leaving a lasting legacy for communities right across the United Kingdom.

Photo of Eddie Hughes Eddie Hughes Ceidwadwyr, Walsall North

I am delighted to have to declare an interest, because my cousin, Ray Reidy, has just been appointed interim chief financial officer at Aston Villa. As an Aston Villa fan myself, I know how difficult it is to get away from a game using Witton train station. Will the Minister join me, Andy Street and the combined authority, in working to develop the capacity of Witton train station in advance of that stadium being used for the Euros in 2028?

Photo of Stuart Andrew Stuart Andrew Assistant Whip, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport), Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Equalities)

We in DCMS are always happy to try to deliver what our colleagues want, and I am delighted that Villa Park is a great venue and has exciting plans. Birmingham and the west midlands region has benefited from significant investment as part of the Commonwealth games, but my hon. Friend is right to say that we will be working with partners right across Government, and in other organisations, to ensure that Euro 2028 is one of the most exciting events we have seen in this country.

Photo of Bob Blackman Bob Blackman Ceidwadwyr, Harrow East

I am not sure whether my right hon. Friend has been to Villa Park, but some of us may differ on its condition. We will leave it to Gareth Southgate to prepare the team to go one step further and win the championship when it comes around, but will my right hon. Friend ensure that the security and travel arrangements, and most importantly the ticketing arrangements, maximise the capability of people to enjoy our beautiful game?

Photo of Stuart Andrew Stuart Andrew Assistant Whip, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport), Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Equalities)

Well, Eurovision of course. I always make sure that I take the opportunity to meet fans and see the experience that they are having at these events, so that we learn from them and ensure that we are addressing any issues that come up. That is why we will be working with all operational partners to ensure that every match is a good one for people to enjoy.

Photo of Chi Onwurah Chi Onwurah Shadow Minister (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Shadow Minister (Science, Research and Innovation)

St James’ Park in the heart of Newcastle will be welcoming European football fans as part of Euro 2028, and we are very proud of that. Following the 2012 Olympics, sports participation did not increase. Will the Minister set out what the Government will do to ensure that the legacy of Euro 2028 is increased participation across Newcastle?

Photo of Stuart Andrew Stuart Andrew Assistant Whip, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport), Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Equalities)

The hon. Lady raises an important point. Legacy is incredibly important to me. That is why we have been giving hundreds of millions of pounds to improve on and build new grassroots sports facilities, so that there are plenty of opportunities for people to enjoy the things they want to do that are inspired by tournaments just like Euro 2028.

Photo of Clive Betts Clive Betts Chair, Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee, Chair, Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee, Chairman of the House of Commons Members' Fund

This should be an opportunity for fans to celebrate and enjoy. I remember the 1996 Euros, when the Danish fans came to Sheffield and drank the city dry, without any problems or disorder whatsoever. Will the Minister give two commitments? First, will he engage with the Football Supporters’ Association in full planning for this? It needs to be involved because it has really good ideas and experience. Secondly, will he talk to the authorities about ticket pricing, so that those on low incomes, and particularly children, can get to the games and enjoy the events?

Photo of Stuart Andrew Stuart Andrew Assistant Whip, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport), Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Equalities)

I absolutely commit to engage with the Football Supporters’ Association. I also met fans ahead of the European championship finals in Istanbul this year. The hon. Gentleman is right, and there are lots of issues for us to discuss. We are in constant discussions with the likes of UEFA, for example, to which I will happily make those representations.