July 25, 2014
The government is hoping the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow will repeat the success of London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics – on and off the track and field.
Figures just published reveal that the key aim to give British trade and industry a £11bn boost in the four years following the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics has been surpassed in half that time.
According to the second annual Olympic legacy report, £14.2bn has been generated in contracts, direct investment and additional sales. Following the games, tourism businesses benefited greatly as international visits to the UK increased by 6% in 2013 to 33m, with a 13% rise in visitor spend to £21bn.
Almost three quarters (70%) of all Commonwealth Games contracts have been awarded to Scottish businesses, many of them smaller in size, while UK Trade & Investment says British businesses are anticipating £7bn of sales in Commonwealth countries overseas during Glasgow 2014.
The Prime Minister, David Cameron, said: "Part of our long-term economic plan is about promoting every part of our country to the world and Glasgow's Commonwealth Games will give us another fantastic platform to do this. It follows on from London 2012, which was not just an amazing sporting event, but also a great opportunity to secure a lasting economic and sporting legacy for the whole UK.
"This government will continue to work on behalf of every hardworking business in the UK to drum up trade, encourage investment and pave the way for growth so we can generate jobs, pay our way in the world, and create stability, security and a brighter future for our country. I'm confident we can build on our experience in London and make Glasgow 2014 so much more than just an amazing sporting event."
Business secretary Vince Cable added: "The delivery of London 2012 on time and on budget led to hosting nations turning to the UK to help deliver their own events, with supply opportunities running into the billions. The UK's future prosperity will not come from relying on domestic markets alone and during the Commonwealth Games we are giving another major push to encourage firms across the UK to sell overseas and foreign businesses to invest here."
Addressing a business conference in Glasgow before the games officially opened, Scotland's First Minister, Alex Salmond, said: "One of the Commonwealth Games committee's proudest boasts is that 70% of all contracts have gone to local businesses in Scotland, and ensure that the games create employment and training opportunities for thousands of young people. The legacy of these Commonwealth Games won't just be the magnificent physical infrastructure that all of you will see as you go through this city. The real legacy will be the impact on people - the human legacy."
The revamping and building of Glasgow 2014 venues alone has created 6,000 jobs and provided a £52m boost to the Scottish economy, according to a report published in April by the Scottish government.