Keeping the flame alive: the Olympic and Paralympic Legacy - Select Committee on Olympic and Paralympic Legacy Contents



351.  The Government's December 2010 Legacy Action Plan outlined four areas of focus for delivering the post-Games legacy. These included:

·  Exploiting to the full the opportunities for economic growth offered by hosting the Games.


·  Promoting community engagement and achieving participation across all groups in society through the Games.

352.  The plan went on to set out a number of areas of activity that would be pursued in support of these aims. The possible benefits for British business were emphasised: the experience of delivering on time and on budget would be used to promote British businesses to countries hosting future major events, and the Games would allow an opportunity to leverage additional foreign direct investment into the UK. Plans to showcase the sustainability standards achieved in building and running the Games, and the efficiency benefits that can be gained through such an approach, were also highlighted.

353.  Initiatives to promote community engagement centred on volunteering; the 2010 plan stated that: "After the Games we want to enable a proportion of the up to 70,000 Games Makers, who will act as volunteers around the venues, to use their skills and expertise to benefit their communities".[167] It went on to explain that "the emphasis on all areas of the UK means that legacy is a project that all societies can take part in".[168]

The business legacy


354.  Reaching back before the Sydney 2000 Games, successive Governments have worked to ensure that UK companies are well placed to compete for contracts to deliver construction and event management services to Games organisers. The reputational benefits of working to win contracts for a successful Games are long-recognised.

355.  There can be little doubt that the design and build of the 2012 Olympic venues, coupled with delivery of the Games themselves, presented significant opportunities for UK businesses. We received evidence that the ODA sub-contracted out £5.6billion worth of business for the Games, through 1,433 major Tier-1 level contracts. These contracts were then divided up into over 43,000 separate Tier-2 sub contracts that were opened up to private sector competition.[169]

356.  Many of the businesses which supplied services to the ODA, and to LOCOG, would hope to use the experience gained in providing for the Games to secure further, similar work. The Government stated, in December 2010, that "UK Trade and Investment are working with many of these companies to turn the expertise they have acquired from working on the London 2012 Games into export capability".[170]

357.  In the lead-up to, and during, the London 2012 Games, domestic marketing rights for the Olympic words and symbols rested with the organising committee, LOCOG. Successful delivery of the Games by LOCOG was dependent upon their ability to use these rights to raise significant amounts of sponsorship income. At the end of December 2012 these rights reverted back to the BOA, who are the usual custodians. The BOA is reliant, to a significant extent, on using these rights to generate ongoing sponsorship income to support the sending and assembling of future teams for the Games.

358.  In light of these restrictions, many UK companies that provided services to the Games signed 'No Marketing Rights Protocol' agreements, which stipulated that they would be unable to advertise their involvement as suppliers. These provisions are made to protect the interests of the main IOC Olympic sponsors, as well as the sponsors who were attracted by LOCOG. This measure, in effect, prevented British companies from freely using their experience of supplying to the Olympics to secure new work.

359.  In response to concerns on this matter DCMS, with the authority and support of the BOA, introduced the Supplier Recognition Scheme (SRS) in January 2013. This allows companies which supplied to the Olympics to apply for recognition and, upon satisfying certain criteria, to promote their involvement in a series of approved ways which had been prohibited under the protocol. The UK is the first country to develop such a scheme after hosting the Games; the Secretary of State told us that, so far, 750 companies have been awarded licences under it.[171]

360.  There are, however, issues with the SRS. Many business categories have been excluded in order to protect the main IOC Olympic sponsors.[172] We received evidence arguing that these categories of exemption were too broad, and often covered areas of industry in which Olympic sponsors were not represented.[173] Applications to the scheme also require time, resources and administrative capacity that small and micro businesses often do not have.

361.  The UK is the first country to create a scheme to recognise Olympic suppliers post-Games, and this is to be welcomed. We believe, however, that further improvements to the Supplier Recognition Scheme are possible, and recommend that the Government work with the BOA, and with suppliers, to narrow the range of exclusions from the scheme. (Recommendation 31)


362.  A number of business organisations, including London First, the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Federation of Small Businesses worked together ahead of the Games to develop 'CompeteFor'. This website, and the activity which supported it, allowed smaller companies to bid for second tier Games contracts.

363.  The London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) told us that they were "confident that CompeteFor provided unprecedented opportunities for small firms to access contracts for a major international event".[174] More than 172,000 businesses are registered on the site and over 13,000 contract opportunities have been made available. The LCCI estimated the total value of contracts awarded to be in excess of £2.5billion, with 75% going to SMEs. Impacts were not limited to London; Essex County Council told us that over 200 CompeteFor contracts were awarded to Essex-based companies, with an estimated value of £55million.[175]

364.  The FSB explained why CompeteFor worked so well:

    "It opened up the supply chain because it is very hard in public procurement. You know who gets the tier 1 bid but then it becomes a black hole. By forcing the people who won (tier 1) Olympic contracts to put the supply chain through CompeteFor it opened up lots of opportunities … It enabled tier 2, 3, 4 right the way down to tier 5 of people to get into that supply chain. That had never been done before. It is a unique way of doing public procurement by forcing the supply chain to become transparent".[176]

365.  We consider CompeteFor to be a successful innovation. We welcome steps taken by the GLA to sustain the use of this portal post-Games, with expansion into the supply chains for Crossrail, TfL and the work currently taking place on the Olympic Park.

366.  We were told that the Government is currently reviewing its own Contracts Finder procurement service, the contractual arrangements for which are coming to an end. Business representatives were concerned that this review would lead to the establishment and development of new procurement systems. There were also concerns that, already, a multitude of public sector procurement systems exist, the complexity of which inhibits the ability of SMEs to access the market. The FSB feared that the outcome of the current review might further exacerbate this problem.[177]

367.  We believe that the CompeteFor portal allowed SMEs a better level of access to the Games supply chain than might otherwise have been the case. We are pleased to see that the GLA has continued using this service post-Games. We believe that there is a strong case for rolling out CompeteFor still further.

368.  We recommend that the Government work with major public sector procurers to make CompeteFor permanently available to SMEs across a wider range of public sector procurement programmes. The Government should refrain from introducing new procurement systems into areas of activity where CompeteFor would be suitable for use. (Recommendation 32)

Benefits across the UK

369.  The Government has set a target of securing at least £13 billion of economic benefits from London 2012 by the time of the Rio 2016 games. £11 billion of this is projected to come from trade and investment, with a further £2 billion from increased tourism.

370.  In July this year the Government stated that £2.5 billion of additional foreign direct inward investment had been secured since the Games, bringing 31,000 new jobs.[178] We were provided with evidence, from the Cabinet Office, that gave further description to this headline figure, describing it as a "£2.46 billion investment estimated as influenced by the Olympics".[179] A regional breakdown, correct to the end of March 2013, was also provided.


Investment into nations and regions of the UK Title
East Midlands£3.86m
North East£19.43m
North West£30m
South East£81m
South West£716m
West Midlands£410m


Additional jobs by nation and regions resulting from the £2.5bn in foreign direct investment into the UK as a result of the Games
East Midlands51
North East7
North West315
South East553
South West12550
West Midlands1160

371.  It is to be expected that, given the Games were principally hosted in south-east England, the balance of benefits might accrue in this region. It is important also to note that spending and investment in the south-east of England can support jobs elsewhere.[180] Notwithstanding that, however, the regional disparities contained within the table above give cause for concern. The £2.5 billion of FDI has delivered 14,928 additional jobs to London, but only 51 to the East Midlands, and 7 to the North East of England. £716 million of investment has been secured for south-west England, but only £21.54 million for Wales.

372.  We note that economic benefits which might have arisen from the Games are disproportionately weighted towards southern England. The scale of difference goes beyond that which might reasonably be expected to occur as a result of the Games taking place in and around London.

373.  We urge the Government and UKTI to assess the reasons for this disparity and, in light of this assessment, to revise their plans for promoting post-Games investments in regions outside southern England, whilst recognising the importance of London to the UK economy as a whole. (Recommendation 33)

The tourism legacy

374.  The Government have set a target of using London 2012 to secure £2 billion of additional economic benefits from tourism by the time of the Rio 2016 games. We were told that an extra 4.7 million overseas visitors were expected to come to the UK between 2011 and 2015.[181] Efforts to promote this increased tourism are principally being taken forward through the GREAT campaign, Visit Britain and Visit London. Visit Britain are managing a £100 million campaign to promote UK tourism following the Games; this runs until 2015.

375.  We were told that, post-Games, the UK had seen improvements on a range of indicators which are used to measure the image of international tourism destinations. Nations Brand Index survey research, commissioned by Visit Britain, showed that our overall tourism 'brand' had improved, as had our scores for welcome, culture and natural beauty. Further research on Britain's reputation overseas, by Ipsos MORI, found that more than 1 in 3 people said that the Games have made them more likely to visit the UK.[182]

376.  Initial tourism figures released since the Games are largely positive. Britain played host to 31.1 million overseas visitors in 2012, a 1% increase on 2011.[183] The amount spent by these visitors increased by 4%. London accounted for almost half of all overseas tourist visits to the UK. In 2012 there were 15.5 million visits to London (up 1% on 2011) and 15.6 million visits to the rest of the UK (up 0.7% on 2011).[184]

377.  Increases in spend and visits have been sustained into 2013. The first five months of 2013 saw a 10% increase in visitor spending on the same period last year; visits were up by 2%.[185] The latest International Passenger Survey statistics show that London has felt a particular benefit, with 4.2% more overseas visitors in the first quarter of 2013, and an 11.5% increase in expenditure.[186]

378.  London has accounted for around half of overseas visits to the UK for a number of years. Patricia Yates, Director of Strategy and Communications, Visit Britain set out the measures being taken to utilise the Games to promote tourism outside London:

    "We worked phenomenally hard during the Games to make sure that the media who came to London were taken around the rest of the country. We escorted NBC, which was the rights-holding broadcaster in America, around the country. They did the Today programme from Wales and Scotland, and they had regular slots showing the rest of the country. When we tracked the brand and how perceptions internationally had changed, we found that 75% of people we asked internationally said that the coverage they had seen of the Olympics made them want to explore more than London … As to the benefit, if it is a visitor to London or a visitor to Paris, I would rather have the visitor to London".[187]

379.  Whilst we share this last sentiment, we are concerned that, once again, the balance of benefits arising from hosting the Games appears to be weighted in favour of London. We believe that more work is needed to utilise the Games to promote visits, and spending, outside London.

380.  Initial results suggest that levels of overseas tourism to the UK are being sustained and improved since the Games; this is to be welcomed. Tourism in London has seen a particular benefit, in terms of both the numbers of visits and levels of spending, since the Games. We welcome this positive development. We note, however, that London accounts for almost half of all tourist visits to the UK.

381.  We are concerned that more needs to be done to ensure that regions outside London enjoy a tourism legacy from the Games. We recommend that the Government and Visit Britain conduct an analysis of how effectively their current major campaigns are promoting the rest of the UK, and, where required, bring forward changes to ensure that regions outside London can share more fully in the tourism legacy. (Recommendation 34)

Sustainability legacy

382.  As mentioned in the previous discussion of housing, the approach taken to sustainability at London 2012 has been widely praised. Sustainable design and construction techniques were employed in the building of the Park and sustainability was also incorporated into the event management approaches used for the Games themselves.

383.  LOCOG embedded sustainability within their Procurement Governance Model, requiring suppliers to satisfy certain sustainability criteria. The former Head of Sustainability at LOCOG told us that: "Significantly, on both the construction and event staging sides, London 2012 was able to demonstrate that sustainability paid its way … The learning here is that UK companies, small and large, can do sustainability and, when done properly, this does not increase costs".[188]

384.  London 2012 also inspired the creation of a fully certifiable international event management standard, known as ISO 20121. This standard provides a means through which organisations in the events sector can address sustainability matters in an efficient and managed way. Rio 2016 has committed to using this standard and all candidate cities for the 2020 Games also committed to using it. We were told that the development of this standard has demonstrated UK global thought leadership in the sustainability field.[189]

385.  The expertise that British construction and event management businesses gained through London 2012 should give them a competitive advantage when seeking to win contracts for future major events. The Government stated, in their 2010 Legacy Action Plan, that they would be "showcasing the broader sustainability standards reached in the building and running of the Games and the positive economic and financial benefits derived from taking a sustainable approach".[190]

386.  The evidence received suggested that UKTI and others were not always taking the steps necessary to promote this UK area of expertise. David Stubbs told us: "My concern is that this success is not being promoted and utilised to support UK business, the sport culture and event sectors … The missing ingredients are leadership and advocacy … In a nutshell this is a classic case of something of value being developed in the UK but exploited overseas".[191]

387.  Sustainable Events Ltd told us that the UK event industry delivers £58.4 billion to the UK's GDP. They went on to state that in Sweden, Thailand, Singapore and Australia governments were spending money on building knowledge and brand around the sustainable events market, concluding that: "In the next few years these destinations will take on the leadership role which the UK currently has".[192]

388.  London 2012 was rightly praised for the sustainable design and construction measures which were used in the development and building of the Park by the Olympic Delivery Authority. The events themselves also set new international standards for sustainability, which future hosts of major events are committed to maintaining.

389.  The experience of developing and working to meet these standards should give UK businesses a competitive advantage when bidding for future contracts. We are not convinced, however, that this niche area of UK expertise is being effectively promoted.

390.  We recommend that the Government and UKTI develop an appropriate strategy to promote the sustainability expertise of the UK event industry. (Recommendation 35)

The volunteering legacy

391.  The 70,000 London 2012 volunteers—known as Games Makers—made a major contribution to the success of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Their role in delivering the Games has been rightly and widely praised.

392.  The recruitment and training exercises that LOCOG carried out in appointing the volunteers were praised in the evidence that we received. Lord Coe told us that over 300,000 people applied to become Games Makers. The process through which LOCOG arrived at the final number of 70,000 required major commitment, including 100,000 interviews.[193] Mike Locke of NCVO told us that: "The main lesson, in terms of the Games Makers, is to look at investment in and leadership of the volunteering programme".[194] He felt that LOCOG had recruited high calibre volunteers, and that the value placed on the role by all parts of LOCOG, from the leadership down, had had a significant impact upon their success.

393.  Mr Locke said that the Games had helped to improve public perceptions of volunteering, and that this might have a positive impact on the willingness of individuals to come forward as volunteers:

    "The Games focused people on volunteering through the media coverage of all that enthusiasm … I think that the public consciousness of volunteering has grown and enlarged, and that ought to have a beneficial effect on the way people think".[195]

We recommend that the methods used to recruit and train volunteers for London 2012 should be applied more widely; the Games provided an impressive example of what can be done to inspire volunteers. The lessons learned from this process should be built upon to support future events. (Recommendation 36)

394.  We considered the challenges involved in sustaining interest in volunteering from the pool of 300,000 who initially applied for Games Maker roles. Management of the LOCOG consumer database has been taken over by Sport England. Since September 2012, Games Makers and other potential volunteers on the database have received information about volunteering opportunities available through the Sport England Sport Makers programme. In total, over 78,700 people have registered on the Sport Maker website, and over 53,500 have registered for a workshop.[196]

395.  Not all Games Maker applicants, however, will be interested solely in volunteering opportunities connected with sport. Lord Coe told us that the motivation for volunteering at a major event such as the Olympic and Paralympic Games did not necessarily extend to wishing to become involved with a sports club on a regular basis.[197]

396.  The Join In programme is the official 'legacy' volunteering programme from London 2012, and was launched in May 2012. It received £1.5million from the Big Lottery Fund to encourage 2012 volunteers into longer-term volunteering with local sports clubs. NCVO told us that Join In "was created a bit late in the day, but then has done a splendid job within its own terms". Richard Sumray told us that: "The Join In programme is of value but it is not comprehensive, its focus being on sport".

397.  The sense that efforts to sustain the interest of Games Makers in volunteering had come 'a bit late in the day' was common to much of the evidence that we heard. We were told that: "There was a real opportunity to create a comprehensive and inclusive programme building on the great success of the Games Makers, London Ambassadors, local authority volunteers and others, but that opportunity has been lost".[198]

398.  We share the view that the opportunity to create a comprehensive programme, building upon the success of the Games Makers initiative, has been missed. Planning for the volunteering legacy should have started much earlier; organisations that would be charged with carrying this forward should have been established well in advance of the Games. The work that the Join In programme is carrying out is commendable, but began too late to have maximum impact.

399.  We examined the role that data protection issues might have played in limiting access to the contact details of Games Maker applicants post-Games. Despite hearing concerns regarding this matter,[199] we were assured by the Information Commissioners Office that the Data Protection Act had not placed any restriction on the ability of LOCOG, Sport England, Join In or others to access relevant information. We were satisfied by the Information Commissioner's assurance on this point, and note that his explanation tallied with what we were told separately by Sport England.

The cultural legacy

400.  The Legacy Trust UK was established in 2007, with a £29 million Big Lottery Fund investment and a further £11 million from the Arts Council and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. The Trust sought to create a lasting cultural and sporting legacy from the 2012 Games, and was the primary funder of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

401.  The Cultural Olympiad was a four-year programme of activity from 2008 to 2012, culminating in the London 2012 Festival from 21st June to 9th September. Many aspects of the programme were positively received.

402.  We were told that the official evaluation of the Cultural Olympiad estimated that it reached a combined audience of 43.4 million people (participants, volunteers and audiences), and a wider audience of 204.4 million people through broadcasts and online.[200] The Government told us that a "conservative estimate" would value the PR generated at £44 million.[201]

403.  Whilst the Opening Ceremony was incredibly popular, and the programme of events that comprised the Cultural Olympiad enjoyed some level of recognition, we are unclear as to what the distinct cultural legacy of the Games is. Aside from the Government figures, we received very little evidence on this matter, despite raising it in our initial call for evidence. In over 500 pages of written evidence, the term 'cultural legacy' only appeared twice. We asked the Secretary of State how the cultural component of London 2012 was being built upon and sustained:

    "The Cultural Olympiad really put us up the rankings in terms of soft power, put us up the rankings of welcome that people felt towards London and the way they understood London better, and we are taking forward the GREAT campaign that was launched really around the Olympics to show Britain abroad in a very rich and culturally filled way … That is very much linking back into what we learned out of the Olympics themselves, and indeed there are very tangible things we did around the Olympics that we are taking abroad as well. The inflatable Stonehenge is one of them, which is on the world tour, and is a fantastic way of bringing Britain to life overseas. That is something that was specifically designed around the Olympics and Paralympics itself".[202]

404.  Dorset County Council told us that the 'Cultural Olympiad by the Sea' programme generated 52 temporary jobs, and increased GVA in Dorset by around £2.5 million. We were told that this programme was "high quality" but also a "one off investment".[203] Essex County Council told us that, over the four years of the Cultural Olympiad, £10.7 million was invested into 101 different projects in the East of England, reaching 2.5 million people.

405.  It is clear, therefore, that the Cultural Olympiad, through a series of one-off events, helped the Games to reach out beyond London, whilst also creating some temporary employment and generating one-off local economic benefits. We have received insufficient evidence, however, to be convinced of any longer-term impacts.

406.  We ask the Government, in their response to this report, to set out what the long-term, distinct, legacy benefits of the Cultural Olympiad will be, and to explain how these will be measured and monitored over time. Whilst some of the events which comprised the Cultural Olympiad itself were undoubtedly well received, we have seen no evidence to suggest that there has been any coordinated, properly resourced attempt by Government to use this potential to deliver a distinct cultural legacy from the Games. (Recommendation 37)

The international legacy

407.  London 2012 was the first Olympic and Paralympic Games to have an international sporting legacy programme. International Inspiration, established in 2009, trained teachers, sports coaches and young people across the world to deliver sports programmes in their own communities. The programme was delivered through a partnership between UK Sport, British Council and UNICEF.

408.  The limited evidence that we received on International Inspiration was largely positive. We were told that the programme was delivered in 20 countries, and reached over 15 million participants, with over 230,000 teachers and coaches trained. A survey in sample countries[204] found that 85% of practitioners who had been trained by the programme were still involved in providing coaching one year after their training had concluded.[205]

409.  Concerns had been raised about the sustainability of the programme post-Games; we were pleased to note that, through a merger with the International Development through Sport charity, this work will continue for the foreseeable future.[206]

410.  Ahead of the Games, the FCO developed a programme of activities to seek to promote the Olympic Truce. We received limited evidence on the success or legacy of these activities. The evidence that we did receive commended the Government for seeking to promote the Truce, but questioned the effectiveness of the activities delivered.[207]

167   DCMS, Plans for the Legacy from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, December 2010. Back

168   IbidBack

169   Professor Mike Raco. Back

170   DCMS, Plans for the Legacy from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, December 2010. Back

171   Q 483 Back

172   Usually known as the IOC 'TOP' sponsors: TOP is an acronym for 'The Olympic Programme'. Back

173   PLASA. Back

174   LCCI. Back

175   Essex County Council. Back

176   Q 433 Back

177   Q 434 Back

178   The Government and Mayor of London, Inspired by 2012: The Legacy from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, July 2013. Back

179   Emma Boggis. Back

180   eg. Manufacture of Tube carriages in Derbyshire.  Back

181   The Government and the Mayor of London. Back

182   Cited in written evidence from the Government and the Mayor of London. Back

183   Visit Britain.  Back

184   The Government and the Mayor of London. Back

185   Visit Britain. Back

186   The Government and the Mayor of London. Back

187   Q 207 Back

188   David Stubbs. Back

189   British Standards Institution. Back

190   DCMS Legacy Action Plan, December 2010. Back

191   David Stubbs. Back

192   Sustainable Events Ltd. Back

193   Q 70 Back

194   Q 442 Back

195   Q 444 Back

196   Sport England.  Back

197   Q 70 Back

198   Richard Sumray. Back

199   QQ 445-447. Back

200   Visit Britain. Back

201   The Government and the Mayor of London. Back

202   Q 491 Back

203   Weymouth and Portland Borough Councils. Back

204   Mozambique, Nigeria and Jordan. Back

205   Youth Charter. Back

206   International Inspiration. Back

207   United Nations Association Westminster Branch. Back

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