Alex Salmond: Legacy of Commonwealth Games will last years
The impact of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games will be felt in Scotland for generations to come, according to the country's First Minister.
Alex Salmond said the games will "showcase the great strengths of modern Scotland" as he pointed to their ability to serve as a catalyst for greater international trade, investment and tourism.
He described the games as the most affordable ever for spectators and confirmed the whole event would be delivered within budget. The SNP leader also pointed to the "valuable" experience of the last Olympics and said London 2012 set "a very high bar".
"It will be our task over the next 10 days to see if we can leap over that bar," he said.
The First Minister spoke as he addressed an audience of international media representatives in Glasgow.
He told them: "The whole of Glasgow, the whole of Scotland, is determined to ensure that these games live up to that billing and that they become recognised as the friendliest games and the finest games ever."
He spoke of the "fantastic" experience awaiting spectators and competitors in the venues.
Mr Salmond also pointed to the wider impact of the games in Scotland: an accompanying £1bn investment in transport infrastructure, new housing and business premises, new sporting hubs and 70% of the games contracts awarded to companies located in Scotland – with consequent jobs and training opportunities for young people.
"These games have been seven years in the planning. They will take place over 11 days but the benefits and the impact will be felt for generations to come," he said.