Maria Miller is the Secretary of State for Culture and MP for Basingstoke
London's 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games promised to deliver a lasting legacy for both the capital and UK plc. Britain was at the centre of the world stage - and the benefits that ensued are being seen in communities across the country.
Not only did our Opening and Closing Ceremonies wow the world with their creativity and quirkiness, but they banged the drum for Britain in terms of marketing our country and our businesses to the world. Britain has a unique cultural and historical fabric, a rich tapestry that weaves our country together and whether it be our museums, our historic buildings, our countryside or our arts - people are drawn to the UK from across the world.
Of course we sought to maximise the economic impact of the London games but that was only part of our Olympic ambition and the legacy that we have worked upon since the last closing ceremony is about so much more. The Prime Minister set an ambitious goal of achieving trade deals of £11 billion in the four years following the Games, and thanks to the entrepreneurship of our businesses and the efforts of UK Trade & Investment, we are up to £9.9 billion in new business secured in just 12 months. That's great news for business, and it's great for Britain.