SENIOR figures involved with hosting the NATO summit have told MPs lessons must be learned from the Ryder Cup.
Simon Gibson and Ian Edwards of the Celtic Manor Resort spoke at Welsh Affairs Select Committee, where Mr Gibson admitted to the House of Commons group that Newport didn’t benefit as much as it should have done from the golfing event that took place in 2010.
Meanwhile Mr Edwards called for Carwyn Jones to press David Cameron on outreach programmes.
The Celtic Manor is set to host the massive world summit this September.
MPs were told the Welsh Government was doing what it could to move the event forward and make the most of it.
But Ian Edwards, chief operating officer at the Celtic Manor, said: “I think the first minister has got to say to the prime minister: we are 100 days to go, we’ve got nothing nailed down in terms of outreach programmes, how we are going to benefit from this; so who’s going to make this decision?”
Mr Edwards said: “We have a Newport university that we need to push the name of and the brand.
“How great will it be if we got one of the world leaders talking at the university on [the] world economy and how they are bringing their country through the crisis at the moment?
“How great will it be if we got an outreach programme into the schools of Newport?”
“Newport is spending £250 million in regenerating that city. We want people to know that”.
Mr Edwards added: “We have got to learn the lessons from the Ryder Cup and make sure we don’t make the same mistakes with NATO, and make sure we talk about the positives.”
Mr Gibson said: “100 days away from the biggest event Wales will ever host. We should be over this like a rash, we should be running at 100mph.”
The committee heard that Wales had done well internationally from the Ryder Cup, but Mr Gibson said: “Locally we did not benefit as much as we should have done at the Ryder Cup. That’s particularly true of the city of Newport. For whatever reason it just never came together.”
With 60 world leaders expected at the summit Mr Gibson raised the prospect that Barack Obama’s official plane, Air Force One, may arrive in Cardiff.
“There will be a massive ruck around him - lets think about the 59 other world leaders that are in the list,” he said, stating NATO was a “massive opportunity”.