By Daniel Hunter

The UK economy has seen a £9.9bn trade and investment boost from the London Olympic and Paralympic Games, one year into a four-year programme of activity and events.

The boost comes from businesses securing contract wins, additional sales and new foreign investment in the last year, since UKTI’s British Business Embassy at Lancaster House hosted a Global Investment Conference and a series of 17 business events — the largest such programme ever held in Britain.

Further evaluation reports published by the Government and Mayor of London today (Friday) show strong progress against all the legacy commitments including:

- an increase in volunteering, halting the steady decline seen since 2005 - today an event on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will kick start a summer of ‘Join In’ activity to encourage people to volunteer locally;

- 1.4 million more people playing sport at least once a week than in 2005 when the bid was won;

- the legacy of all the permanent venues on the Olympic Park secured within a year of the Games — the park has started to reopen this summer with major sports, music and cultural events;

- an independent report projects that the total benefit to the UK from hosting London 2012 could reach up to £41 billion by 2020;

- £4bn of investment into London, including projects outside the scope of UKTI figures;

- 70,000 workless Londoners helped into Games-related employment creating a labour market legacy.

“This £9.9 billion boost to the UK economy is a reminder to the world that, if you want the best, if you want professionalism, if you want jobs done on time and on budget then you should think British," Prime Minister David Cameron said.

“With companies across the country we are harnessing the Olympic momentum and delivering the lasting business legacy of the Games that will help make Britain a winner in the global race.

“But that’s not where the good news ends. The games are also delivering a strong social legacy. Last summer, Games Makers changed the way Britain views volunteering. Since then, thousands of people have been inspired to get involved with their local sports clubs. Tonight in the park, Join In will launch a summer of events, which will unleash an army of 500,000 people up and down the country to turn up, take part and Join In.”

UKTI’s target is to deliver £11bn of economic benefit from the London 2012 Games by July 2016, from additional exports, investment into the UK and successful bids for high-value international contracts in a number of sectors.
One year on the London Olympic and Paralympic Games have helped to generate:

£9.9bn of economic benefit so far, including:

· £5.9bn of additional sales from Olympic-related activity such as the British Business Embassy;
· £2.5bn of additional inward investment into the UK since the Games generating more than 31,000 new jobs, with 58% of the value invested outside London;
· £1.5bn of Olympic-related high value opportunities won overseas.

These figures include £120m of contracts already won by UK companies for the Brazil 2014 World Cup and Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, plus more than 60 contracts won by UK companies for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and 2018 Russia World Cup.

“There is no doubt that the London 2012 Games proved a success story for British business. This has created a multi-billion pound business springboard to take British expertise to the world, and UKTI is working hard to make the most of this significant opportunity," Business Secretary Vince Cable said.

“UKTI has embraced the challenge of delivering £11 billion of economic benefit from the Olympics. Reaching £9.9bn in the space of one year is an amazing achievement. I hope that companies of all sizes up and down the country follow suit and use the positive impact generated by the Games to reach out to new markets and grow their businesses."

In the coming years, UKTI will continue to work to maximise the boost to jobs, trade and investment, strengthening its sector capability with the creation of the Automotive, Offshore Wind and Financial Services Investment Organisations.

Activities including the Graduate Entrepreneur Campaign will help to attract the brightest global entrepreneurs to the UK and help UK-based companies to access high value opportunities across the world in sectors such as sustainable cities, urban renewal and sustainable design as well as major sporting events. These include future Olympic and Paralympic Games and World Cups.

Preliminary UK annual investment figures announced in May showed that in the year of the Games, the UK maintained its position as the leading destination in Europe for foreign direct investment.

In London, figures published by the Mayor of London show that major projects secured in the last year such as the investment in Royal Albert Docks and Battersea Power Station have brought £4bn of new investment to the capital, including projects outside the scope of UKTI’s report.

According to independent research from a consortium led by Grant Thornton, published by DCMS, up to £41 billion could be realised over the fifteen year period from when London won the bid in 2005 to 2020. The report predicts continued benefits from tourism, trade and inward investment as the Games helped improve the world’s view of Britain.

“London 2012 showed the very best of Britain and hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games has delivered huge economic benefits to the country," Culture Secretary Maria Miller said.

“We sat squarely on the centre of the world stage and last summer allowed us to showcase our incredible country, resulting in more growth, investment and a boost for tourism. However this is just the start, we have a 10 year legacy plan and we must continue to make the very most of the opportunities the Games gave us.”

The Government and Mayor have published a report — Inspired by 2012: The legacy from the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games. The report describes the activities since the Games they, and others, have taken to build a lasting legacy across a number of commitments including: sport and healthy living, the regeneration of east London, bringing communities together, the Paralympic legacy and economic growth. Whilst the legacy is described as a ten-year project, significant progress has been made.

The report includes a foreword by the Prime Minister and the Mayor of London, an assessment of progress and next steps by Lord Coe, the Prime Minister’s Olympic & Paralympic Legacy Ambassador, and comment from Jacques Rogge, President of the International Olympic Committee.

“We proved the Olympo-sceptics in error when they declared that London couldn’t lay on a world class Games. We are now set to defy the doom-mongers when it comes to securing a permanent legacy. London is succeeding where virtually no other host city has, on track to secure a solid gold payback on the taxpayers’ outlay and a rosy future for the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park," the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said.

“Since last summer, the capital has seen a surge in overseas investment totalling billions from Croydon to Battersea to the Royal Albert Docks as well as seeing an extraordinary transformation of East London. This is delivering tens of thousands of jobs not only in London but spurring growth across the UK and helping the country sprint ahead in the global race for business.”

Also today a ‘Go Local’ event is taking place at the Olympic Park, providing an opportunity for London 2012 volunteers and others to be inspired to volunteer in local sports clubs and community activities. The event is managed by Join In, an independent charity aimed at getting more people into sport and other volunteering; and Team London, the Mayor of London’s team promoting volunteering.

Join us on
Follow @freshbusiness