Written evidence from the Minister for the Olympics (OLL 25)

What set London apart when we bid for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games was the scale of our legacy ambition. We welcome this opportunity to set out in the clearest terms our core legacy promises and how achievement against these will be judged.

We made two pledges: first that the Olympics would change a generation of young people through sport and second that they would transform East London. This submission sets out how we are delivering against these pledges.

Since then, other legacy ambitions have arisen from our priority commitments. We want London 2012 to be the most sustainable, environmentally friendly games ever. We want to use the games to provide a shot in the arm for the economy, developing skills and supporting business up and down the country. We want to deliver a social and cultural legacy that provides young people across the UK with opportunities to try new activities and get involved in their communities, and showcases the best of Britain to the world. And we want to use the 2012 Games to transform people's perceptions of disabled people.

All of these ambitions are important and are evident in our work. But it is against these two core promises that we must be judged.

1. Transforming a generation through sport

We can only fulfil this commitment by addressing the following historic challenges:

Young people in state schools have had too little sport as part of their daily life and have had too little opportunity to compete

Sport facilities for young people needed to be improved

There has always been a significant drop off in participation at 16, when sport is no longer part of the school curriculum

Meeting these challenges requires change at every level, in sports administration through to the development of world-class support for our elite athletes.

The sports legacy of the 2012 Games will be a world-class sports system. More first-class sporting facilities; more clubs and coaches; more people of all ages playing sport; and sustained elite success.

 

In practice this means that by 2013:

one million more adults doing sport as part of two million more being physically active;

all 5-16 year olds in England having the opportunity of five hours of PE and sport a week;

an excellent community sport system and club structure;

Team GB in the top four at the London Olympics and Paralympics GB second in the medal table, winning more medals in more sports compared to Beijing.

 

The scale of our task should not be underestimated. Delivering change on this scale would be a unique achievement for an Olympic host nation.

Exchequer funding for sport has doubled since we won the Games in 2005 - from 313 million in the three years before compared to 580 million in the three years after.

In 2003 the Government started a programme of transformation of school sport that will take a decade to fully achieve. By 2008, 90 per cent of children were taking part in two hours of PE and school sport a week, an increase from an estimated 25 per cent in 2002. Now, over half are taking part in three hours a week.

Addressing the millions of 16 year olds who simply stop doing sport when they leave school requires radical thinking. Every 16- to 19-year-old is now being offered three hours of sport a week, in schools, colleges and community settings and the challenge is convert this into high take-up by 2013.

A new approach to community sport is required. The Government has made free swimming available to 20 million people aged 16 and under or 60 and over, created a new role for sports governing bodies, making them partners in driving up sports participation, and has invested 0.5 billion of public money to fuel that drive.

Finally, meeting our ambition requires an overhaul of elite sport. The Government has refocused UK Sport as a body dedicated solely to helping UK athletes win medals.

We have made a lot of progress. But a world-class sporting system cannot be built overnight. The effect of the near half a billion pounds of investment in community and school sport will not be truly known until after the games and that will be the time to judge success.

These levels of funding would just not have happened without the Olympics as the catalyst. Local authorities and the National Lottery are also investing huge amounts of money in sports facilities, coaches and opportunities for people to play more sport, as well as supporting our elite athletes

The results in Beijing, where Team GB came fourth in the Olympic medal table and second in the Paralympics is evidence of our success. It was unforgettable and turned the eyes of the world on Great Britain.

At community level we are also seeing results. About 600,000 more people are now doing sport since 2006, and there were10.4million free swims in the first six months of the free swimming scheme.

2. Regeneration of East London

The five boroughs of Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest and Greenwich include the three most deprived authorities in the country. A famously diverse population, three times the size of Manchester, twice the size of Glasgow, and half again as big as Birmingham, with high unemployment, and levels of health, educational attainment, and skill well below those experienced by the rest of London.

Regeneration of the heart of East London has long been planned, but the Olympics is helping to accelerate it in a way nothing else can.

The heart of these boroughs will be almost unrecognisable once the games are gone. The Olympic site, once a remote low grade industrial area, will be transformed into a new water city, which will play an increasing part in London's future

Across the 2.5 kilometre square site, 250 buildings have been demolished, tunnels dug to underground two 6km stretches of powerlines and other utilities improved and upgraded, whilst some 1.5m cubic metres of contaminated soil has been excavated and cleaned. This has set the foundations for us to begin to release the huge potential value from the regeneration of the site and its surroundings and provide a top quality waterside environment offering London a unique development asset.

There will be 2,800 new homes in the Olympic Village, half of which will be affordable, and up to 10,000 more developed over time on the rest of the site.

There will be 8-10,000 new job opportunities in future business development on the site, on top of an estimated 18,000 new jobs associated with Stratford City.

By 2012 over 350 apprentices will have worked on the Olympic park. These people will have learnt new skills that can be used on other major construction projects like Crossrail. A legacy for London, a legacy for the economy.

Because of the Olympics, brand new transport links are making Stratford one of the best connected stations in London, less than two hours from Paris, with further new fast links to the City, West End and Heathrow to follow from Crossrail. And they have accelerated local improvements, including the East London Line extension, which provides Hackney with its very first tube service. The capacity of Stratford Regional Station will be doubled, there is an 80m upgrade of DLR rolling stock and stations underway, and over 300m is being spent on increasing the capacity of the North London line.

There will be new places to take part in sport. Five world class venues: the Olympic Stadium, the aquatics centre; velopark; Eton Manor (which will provide facilities for hockey, tennis and five a side football) and a multi-use sports hall. All serving an area with some of the lowest sports participation rates in the country.

There will be new community facilities, including an education campus (Chobham Academy, comprising nursery, primary and secondary schools with 1,800 places for children aged 3-19 years old); and a polyclinic health centre, a one-stop primary health care centre.

There will be new parks. Work is already underway to create around 250 acres of parklands, on former industrial land, that will provide a colourful and festival atmosphere for London 2012 and afterwards become the largest new urban park in the UK for over 100 years.

This investment will help to unlock the large scale private investment essential to the regeneration of wider east London. For example it has helped to underpin the early development of the new Stratford City retail centre, where 1.45bn investment will create 18,000 jobs in the long term, and which, with the arrival of the likes of Marks and Spencer, John Lewis and Waitrose, will fundamentally alter the quality of shopping which is on offer in the sub region. And it provides a positive image of quality sustainability and success on which to rebuild the commercial potential of east London.

To deliver our vision for the Olympic site, the Government and Greater London Assembly jointly established the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) in May 2009. This dedicated company enables London - unlike most Olympic cities in the past - to start to prepare, organise and invest in the long term development and use of the site three years in advance of the event itself.

The Company will be responsible for overseeing the management arrangements for the Park and its sporting and non-sporting facilities after the Games. It will also work to secure the long term development of the Olympic Park as a high quality sustainable mixed community that provides lasting national and local sporting, cultural, educational and leisure benefit. Between now and 2012, the Company will work jointly with the Olympic Delivery Authority, LOCOG and other partners on detailed legacy plans for the venues and the management and maintenance of the Park, and will start to market the Park to investors. These will be core elements of the Company's first corporate plan to be published later this year.

Today, the Olympics are providing a boost to the UK economy, helping it through the economic downturn. Companies from across the country are supplying ODA contractors. Over 1,000 companies have already won 5bn of work supplying the ODA, 98% of which are UK-based, 46% are outside London and 14% are based in one of the five host boroughs.

The CompeteFor brokerage system gives businesses across the country access to contracts in the London 2012 supply chains and signposts them to business support, such as Business Links, to ensure they are fit to supply not just London 2012, but other agencies responsible for the wider 150bn annual public procurement spend. Over 100,000 companies are registered on CompeteFor, of which 35,000 have received business support.

We welcome this opportunity to define in the clearest terms the legacy promise and how our achievement will be judged. With these two core objectives we are showing legacy is at the heart of our ambitions for the 2012 Games.

January 2010