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Olympic legacy: a year of progress towards lasting change

Almost £10 billion economic boost and an upsurge in volunteering show strong progress against London 2012 legacy commitments.

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Fireworks over the Olympic stadium at the opening ceremony

A year on from the London 2012 opening ceremony, the inspirational power of the Olympic and Paralympic Games is delivering lasting change in sport, communities, the economy, east London and awareness and perceptions around disability.

Celebrating the London 2012 Olympic legacy

Read ‘Inspired by 2012’ – a new report about building a lasting Olympic legacy.

Speaking about the Olympics legacy, 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.

The Prime Minister meets Games Makers. Photo: John Stillwell/PA Wire.
The Prime Minister meets Games Makers. Photo: John Stillwell/PA Wire.

Economic legacy of London 2012

The UK economy has seen a £9.9 billion trade and investment boost from the London Olympic and Paralympic Games, 1 year into a 4-year programme of activity and events.

This boost comes from businesses securing contract wins, additional sales and new foreign investment in the last year. An independent report projects the total benefit to the UK from hosting London 2012 could reach up to £41 billion by 2020.

Read more about the economic boost from London 2012.

The Olympic Stadium. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.
The Olympic Stadium. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

Volunteering legacy of London 2012

The UK has also seen an increase in volunteering since the Games, halting the steady decline seen since 2005.

An event in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park kickstarted a summer of ‘Join In’ activity to encourage people to volunteer locally.

Mo Farah winning the men's 5,000m final. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire.
Mo Farah winning the men's 5,000m final. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire.

Sporting and cultural legacy of London 2012

1.4 million more people are playing sport at least once a week than in 2005 when the Olympic bid was won. Meanwhile, £1 billion investment is going into youth and community sport over 5 years to encourage greater participation and improve facilities.

The legacy of all the permanent venues on the Olympic Park was secured within a year of the Games – the park has started to reopen this summer with major sports, music and cultural events set to take place.

London 2012 also brought forward investment in east London by a generation and 70,000 unemployed Londoners were helped into Games-related employment, creating a labour market legacy.

Read more about the London 2012 Olympic legacy.

Published 19 July 2013
Last updated 27 July 2013 + show all updates
  1. Updated with new links and video for anniversary of the opening ceremony.
  2. First published.