Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Minutes of Evidence

Memorandum submitted by UK Sport


  1.  The United Kingdom Sports Council (UK Sport), as the lead agency for the attraction and staging of major sports events in the UK, welcomes the opportunity to update the Select Committee on its role in supporting major events throughout the country. Since the Select Committee inquiry and Report into the `Staging International Events in the UK' in 1999, UK Sport has become a distributor of Lottery funds for elite sport and major events. Under the auspices of the World Class Events programme UK Sport has supported numerous major events throughout Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales in the past eighteen months and assisted the process of securing major events up until 2005.

  2.  UK Sport was established in 1997, with one of its primary tasks to;

    "promote the UK or any part of it as a venue for international sports events and to advise, encourage and assist bodies in staging or seeking to stage such events."

  UK Sport is the only Sports Council specifically charged with this task although current funding arrangements dictate that it is not possible for UK Sport to fund those events classified as "mega-events". While the bidding for "mega-events" is subject to support from UK Sport, the support of staging costs is an issue for the home country Sports Councils. In the majority of cases this will be Sport England. Current mega-events beyond staging support from UK Sport include;

    —  The 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester; and

    —  The 2005 World Athletics Championships in London.

  The bid for the 2006 FIFA World Cup was also supported by Sport England as UK Sport did not have the resources to support the £3 million bid.

  3.  UK Sport's memorandum attempts to update the Committee on progress in the delivery and co-ordination of major events since the last inquiry. It will illustrate the level of investment and the specific nature of the returns supplied through the attraction and staging of events. Essentially the memorandum will concentrate on a number of key areas as outlined below:

    —  provide an overview of recent events bid for and staged in the UK;

    —  report on UK Sport progress on major events since early 1999;

    —  outline current work programmes and research; and

    —  look forward to events secured throughout the UK in future years.


  4.  Since the Secretary of State announced that UK Sport would become a distributor of Lottery funds for the support of major sporting events throughout the UK, the Council has been actively involved in the bidding for, securing and staging of over 35 events since mid-1999.

  5.  Over the past eighteen months, a total of £2.9m has been committed to the staging of events by UK Sport, while a further £0.27m has been awarded to support bids for future events. These figures include those events "transferred" to UK Sport from the home country Sports Councils as part of the agreement for UK Sport to become a distributor of Lottery funds.

  6.  As illustrated in Appendix One these events have been staged throughout the UK, across many different sports and utilised many of the UK's premier sporting venues, both indoor and outdoor. Great Britain has also won a number of gold, silver and bronze medals at these events and/or qualified for other major championship events including the Olympic Games.

  7.  The staging of these events has helped achieve many of the objectives set out in the World Class Events Programme and satisfy a number of the recommendations reached by the Select Committee in 1999. While several key outcomes were achieved during this current year, not least Olympic qualification and medal success, a number of significant broader sporting and economic outcomes have been evident. The 2000 UCI Centenary World Track Cycling Championships in Manchester (October 25-29) provides one recent example of the sporting, social and economic benefits derived through the staging of major events in the UK.

  8.  Secured in 1998, UK Sport worked closely with the British Cycling Federation (BCF), the event organisers, the Union Cyclisme International and commercial sponsors to help deliver a successful championships, just five weeks after the end of the Sydney Olympics. Great Britain enjoyed its most successful world championships for a number of years, winning a gold medal in the Women's Individual Pursuit and silver and bronze medals ranging across the men's One Kilometres Sprint, the Olympic Sprint and the Team Pursuit.

  9.  One of the most successful parts of the whole event was the associated sport development programme. Initiated in early 2000, the programme built upon existing BCF development programmes and the "impruve" cycling development scheme by the Prudential. The broad ranging sports development programme included a number of cycling roadshows held in the Arndale Centre in Manchester and an outreach programme in schools throughout the Greater Manchester area. Approximately 300 children were involved in the scheme, with winning schools invited to compete in a `finals' competition at the World Championships. The BCF has gained additional members as a result of this exercise and is monitoring the effects of the programme and the "development effect" recent medal success of British cyclists.

  10.  The World Championships were also used as a vehicle to promote cycling for athletes with disabilities. A successful `omnium' for disability cyclists was used to promote elite competitive cycling on the Manchester track during each day of the championship event. This competition was warmly received by spectators at the event and was followed up by the success of GB cyclists at the Paralympic Games in Sydney.

  11.  The success of GB cyclists at the Olympic Games ensured that the event was a sell out and made it possible for the organisers to reach their sponsorship targets. Estimates prior to the event suggested that the economic impact of the event would exceed £1.5 million.

  12.  Similar sporting and economic outcomes were achieved in Gateshead at the Spar European Cup Athletics in July 2000. At this event the financial support and expertise of Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council, UK Sport and UK Athletics linked with the Sport England Active Mark programme to deliver positive sport development outcomes at the local and regional level. Over 500 children competed at the Junior Games prior to the final afternoon of the event. Great Britain's men enjoyed considerable success by winning the men's team event and securing the European Cup. Initial estimates indicate that nearly £1 million was generated in the regional economy as a result of staging the two day event.


  13.  A major step forward in the couple of years has been the establishment of the Major Events Steering Group (MESG). While its initial task was to deal with the plethora of events that had been attracted to the UK between 1999-2000, the Group is now proactively guiding the strategic direction of the Major Events Policy. Under the guidance of the Major Events Steering Group, UK Sport is now in a position of receiving applications for the support of events two to three years before an event takes place. This has enabled the Council to become more proactive in its support for events. It has also provided the opportunity to ensure that sports development, performance development, social, cultural and economic objectives are carefully planned, resourced and achieved. This approach has also enabled UK Sport to be strategic in its allocation of Lottery funding across the UK.

  14.  The strategic approach to the allocation of Lottery resources by the MESG has become possible as a result of the advanced strategic planning now taking place by the national governing bodies of sport. Officers of UK Sport have worked closely with numerous governing bodies to set out future event strategies, which are both achievable and financially realistic. This is a process that will be repeated and reviewed on an annual basis.

  15.  As the results of Great British athletes over the past two years has illustrated, there has been an increased synergy and linkage between performance development planning and the staging of major events in the UK. While there is continued room for improvement, the UK is now beginning to maximise its advantage of playing at home. The World Orienteering Championships 1999, the World Judo Championships 1999, the World Track Cycling Championships 2000 have all illustrated the success of hosting events in the UK, not least by crowning GB athletes as world champions at each of these events.

  16.  UK Sport has begun work with near to ten national governing bodies to look in detail at the development of their International Representation Strategies. This work aims to identify the individuals who currently have the potential to reach higher positions within their respective international federation; to identify what that position might be and what needs to be put in place for success. Typically this involves assisting with additional funding, hosting meetings in the UK and attendance at Championships across the world. The planning work also aims to encourage governing bodies to think about how to identify individuals for future representation and a generic person specific has been developed.

  17.  UK Sport also considers that the development of the Sports Tourism Department of the British Tourism Association (BTA) is a major step forward in the co-ordination and support of all aspects of staging major events in the UK. Welcoming the Sports Tourism Strategy launched by the BTA in early 2000, UK Sport has worked closely with the BTA over the last year in and across a number of major events. Through the BTA networks and the Sport Tourism Steering Committee, UK Sport will broaden its relationship with the tourism agencies across the UK to maximise the opportunities afforded by events in future years.


  18.  Through its Exchequer budget for the support of major events, UK Sport is currently working with a number of national governing bodies, local authorities and other partner agencies to support up and coming events in the UK. While UK Sport will continue to host an annual major events conference each year to feed back the experiences of the previous year and look forward to future events, it is committed to pushing forward the position of the UK with respect to staging events. Its current work programmes therefore include a number of impact assessment studies and co-ordinated research to maximise the UK's understanding of the broad range of impacts achieved through Lottery investment in events.

  19.  The measurement of the sport development outcomes and sporting legacies of staging major events in the UK is a major project proposed by UK Sport running from 2001-04. As little research work has been undertaken in this area across the world, UK Sport will pilot a measurement study in 2001. The results of this study will feed into a major project measuring the sporting impact and legacies of the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester. UK Sport will undertake this major project in partnership with Sport England.

  20.  UK Sport will continue to commission and support local authorities in their attempts to measure the economic impact of major events in their local area or region. Working closely with the Local Government Associations in the respective home countries, UK Sport will continue to promote a standardised approach to the economic assessment of major events so that the comparative analysis of different events is based along similar methodological approaches.

  21.  In 1999 the results of a UK Sport commissioned project estimated that substantial impacts were returned from major events in the UK. The 1999 European Show Jumping Championships at Hickstead and the 1999 World Judo Championships in Birmingham each generated approximately £2 million in additional net expenditure in the local area, supporting full-time equivalent jobs and substantial numbers of additional bed-night sales.

  22.  UK Sport recently commissioned an environmental impact assessment study at the Sydney Olympic Games to observe good practice and the delivery of environmental objectives at such an event. The feedback from this study will be passed to the British Olympic Association (BOA) to assist any potential Olympic bid and a set of environmental guidelines for staging major events will be produced by UK Sport in the near future.


  23.  Since the launch of its Major Events Blue Print in February 1999, UK Sport has been working closely with numerous sports to develop a coherent planning framework for the attraction and staging of events. As a result of emphasising the need to plan early and to link event planning to performance planning objectives, UK Sport is current working with a number of sports to prepare business plans for events in forthcoming years.

  24.  UK Sport has awarded or is currently considering applications for a number of events. These include the following events in 2001 across the UK;

    2001  Commonwealth Top Twelve Table-Tennis Cardiff*

    2001  World Senior Amateur Boxing Championships Belfast

    2001  World Modern Pentathlon Championships Somerset

    2001  World Canoe Marathon Championships Stockton

    2001  World Half-Marathon Championships Bristol

  * transferred from the Sports Council for Wales in 1999.

  25.  Applications for the following events in 2003 and 2004 and currently in the development phase, with applications due to be submitted to the MESG in the near future;

    2003  World Indoor Athletics Championships Birmingham

    2003  European Dressage Championships Hickstead

    2003  Champions Trophy—Hockey Milton Keynes

    2003  European Cross Country Championships Edinburgh

    2004  World Bowls Championships Ayr

  Furthermore, UK Sport is awaiting the outcome of a bid for the 2003 World Badminton Championships and Surdiman Cup in Birmingham. The successful bid for the 2005 World Athletics Championships supported by UK Sport will now become a funding issue for Sport England. UK Sport nonetheless remains closely involved in the planning and strategic relevance of the event.


  26.  UK Sport remains fully committed to attracting the world's finest events to the country. It believes that the progress made in the last two years is a good foundation upon which to progress forward.UK Sport has developed close working relationships with a number of key partners responsible for the bidding for and staging of major events in the UK. The continued support of all partner agencies, especially the national governing bodies of sport and local authorities is critical to the future success of UK Sport's strategy. The promising results of GB athletes in the build up to, during and after the Sydney Olympics gives UK Sport great optimism for the future development of elite sport in the UK.

  27.  It is hoped that this evidence provides the Committee with an update on the activity of UK Sport over the past eighteen months in the area of major events. As the evidence illustrates the demands of the World Class Events Programme are cyclical in nature and 1999-2000 has been an exceptional year in terms of the number of events staged and the number of future events secured. Current projects illustrate that the next two years will be less demanding in terms of the number of events staged, but nonetheless extremely significant in terms of performance development and the delivery of the broader sporting, economic and social objectives.

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Prepared 30 March 2001