Press release

Turning the Games into gold: government announces almost £10 billion economic boost from London 2012

The UK economy has seen a £9.9 billion trade and investment boost from the London Olympic and Paralympic Games, one year on.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

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

The boost comes from businesses securing contract wins, additional sales and new foreign investment in the last year, since UKTI’s British Business Embassy at Lancaster House hosted a Global Investment Conference and a series of 17 business events – the largest such programme ever held in Britain.

Further evaluation reports published by the government and Mayor of London on 19 July 2013 show strong progress against all the legacy commitments including:

  • an increase in volunteering, halting the steady decline seen since 2005 - an event on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on 19 July 2013 will kick start a summer of ‘Join In’ activity to encourage people to volunteer locally
  • 1.4 million more people playing sport at least once a week than in 2005 when the bid was won
  • the legacy of all the permanent venues on the Olympic Park secured within a year of the Games – the park has started to reopen this summer with major sports, music and cultural events
  • an independent report projects that the total benefit to the UK from hosting London 2012 could reach up to £41 billion by 2020
  • £4 billion of investment into London, including projects outside the scope of UKTI figures
  • 70,000 workless Londoners helped into Games-related employment creating a labour market legacy

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

This £9.9 billion boost to the UK economy is a reminder to the world that, if you want the best, if you want professionalism, if you want jobs done on time and on budget then you should think British.

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. Tonight in the park, Join In will launch a summer of events, which will unleash an army of 500,000 people up and down the country to turn up, take part and Join In.

Trade and investment

UKTI’s target is to deliver £11 billion of economic benefit from the London 2012 Games by July 2016, from additional exports, investment into the UK and successful bids for high-value international contracts in a number of sectors.

One year on the London Olympic and Paralympic Games have helped to generate:

  • £9.9 billion of economic benefit so far, including:
    • £5.9 billion of additional sales from Olympic-related activity such as the British Business Embassy
    • £2.5 billion of additional inward investment into the UK since the Games generating more than 31,000 new jobs, with 58% of the value invested outside London
    • £1.5 billion of Olympic-related high value opportunities won overseas

These figures include £120 million of contracts already won by UK companies for the Brazil 2014 World Cup and Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, plus more than 60 contracts won by UK companies for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and 2018 Russia World Cup.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

There is no doubt that the London 2012 Games proved a success story for British business. This has created a multi-billion pound business springboard to take British expertise to the world, and UKTI is working hard to make the most of this significant opportunity.

UKTI has embraced the challenge of delivering £11 billion of economic benefit from the Olympics. Reaching £9.9 billion in the space of 1 year is an amazing achievement. I hope that companies of all sizes up and down the country follow suit and use the positive impact generated by the Games to reach out to new markets and grow their businesses.

In the coming years, UKTI will continue to work to maximise the boost to jobs, trade and investment, strengthening its sector capability with the creation of the automotive, offshore wind and financial services investment organisations.

Activities including the Graduate Entrepreneur Campaign will help to attract the brightest global entrepreneurs to the UK and help UK-based companies to access high value opportunities across the world in sectors such as sustainable cities, urban renewal and sustainable design as well as major sporting events. These include future Olympic and Paralympic Games and World Cups.

Preliminary UK annual investment figures announced in May showed that in the year of the Games, the UK maintained its position as the leading destination in Europe for foreign direct investment.

In London, figures published by the Mayor of London show that major projects secured in the last year such as the investment in Royal Albert Docks and Battersea Power Station have brought £4 billion of new investment to the capital, including projects outside the scope of UKTI’s report.

Wider legacy

According to independent research from a consortium led by Grant Thornton, published by DCMS, up to £41 billion could be realised over the 15 year period from when London won the bid in 2005 to 2020. The report predicts continued benefits from tourism, trade and inward investment as the Games helped improve the world’s view of Britain.

Culture Secretary Maria Miller said:

London 2012 showed the very best of Britain and hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games has delivered huge economic benefits to the country.

We sat squarely on the centre of the world stage and last summer allowed us to showcase our incredible country, resulting in more growth, investment and a boost for tourism. However this is just the start, we have a 10 year legacy plan and we must continue to make the very most of the opportunities the Games gave us.

The government and Mayor published a report on 19 July 2013 – ‘Inspired by 2012: The legacy from the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games’. The report describes the activities since the Games they, and others, have taken to build a lasting legacy across a number of commitments including: sport and healthy living, the regeneration of East London, bringing communities together, the Paralympic legacy and economic growth. Whilst the legacy is described as a 10-year project, significant progress has been made.

The report includes a foreword by the Prime Minister and the Mayor of London, an assessment of progress and next steps by Lord Coe, the Prime Minister’s Olympic & Paralympic Legacy Ambassador, and comment from Jacques Rogge, President of the International Olympic Committee.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said:

We proved the Olympo-sceptics in error when they declared that London couldn’t lay on a world class Games. We are now set to defy the doom-mongers when it comes to securing a permanent legacy. London is succeeding where virtually no other host city has, on track to secure a solid gold payback on the taxpayers’ outlay and a rosy future for the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Since last summer, the capital has seen a surge in overseas investment totalling billions from Croydon to Battersea to the Royal Albert Docks as well as seeing an extraordinary transformation of East London. This is delivering tens of thousands of jobs not only in London but spurring growth across the UK and helping the country sprint ahead in the global race for business.

Also a ‘Go Local’ event is taking place at the Olympic Park on 19 July 2013, providing an opportunity for London 2012 volunteers and others to be inspired to volunteer in local sports clubs and community activities. The event is managed by Join In, an independent charity aimed at getting more people into sport and other volunteering; and Team London, the Mayor of London’s team promoting volunteering.

Press office contacts

UKTI / BIS Press office – Economic legacy

Christina Murphy / Alex Hamilton – 0207 215 5245 / 5976

DCMS Press office – Wider Olympic legacy

Oliver Jackson / Jose Riera – 0207 211 6263 / 6971

Mayor of London Press office – London legacy and investment

Hilary Merrett – 0207 983 4755

Cabinet Office Press office – Volunteering

Elise Simpson – 0207 276 0393

Notes to editors

  1. The government and Mayor have established a joint legacy programme to maximise the benefits of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games for London and the whole of the UK.

  2. For copies of full reports under embargo, please contact press offices.

  3. The report ‘Inspired by 2012: The legacy from the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games’ which sets out progress against the legacy programme will be published on the Cabinet Office publications list.

  4. The overall government economic target is to achieve £13.3 billion of economic benefit from London’s hosting of the Olympic and Paralympic Games – £11 billion from UKTI activity and a further £2.3 billion boost from increased tourism. In 2012 tourism spend from overseas visitors was up by £600 million to £18.6 billion – a 4% increase.

  5. The UKTI programme of Olympic and Paralympic-related events and activity comprised: * the British Business Embassy, which was attended by 4,000 delegates, including 800 international business delegates from 63 countries, at events including the Global Investment Conference and 17 specialist sector and country events * more than 60 regional business events held around the UK to support businesses in securing export and investment opportunities during and immediately following the Games, to maximise the opportunity provided by the Games * trade missions led by the Prime Minister and other members of the government to host countries of future global sports events, including Brazil, Russia and Qatar * Host2Host agreements put in place with several other hosting nations to introduce global opportunities and showcase UK expertise * global sports projects seminar ‘Rising To The Challenge - Delivering the London 2012 Business Legacy’ held on 18 July 2013 to provide business delegates with an introduction to global sports projects, a presentation on the infrastructure work being undertaken in Qatar to deliver the 2022 World Cup and to launch a new UKTI Rio 2016 procurement toolkit.

  6. The full UKTI report will be published here at 00.01 on 19 July 2013:

  7. In the 2012 Autumn Statement, UKTI was awarded an additional £70 million for each of 2013 to 2014 and 2014 to 2015, enabling the recruitment of more international trade advisers around the country, expansion of existing services including the Trade Access Programme (TAP) and the Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS), and support to expand the range of assistance available to UK companies through overseas British chambers of commerce.

  8. The government’s economic policy objective is to achieve ‘strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries.’ It set four ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’, published at Budget 2011 * To create the most competitive tax system in the G20 * To make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business * To encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy * To create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe

  9. Work is underway across government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the government wants the economy to travel.

  10. UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is the government department that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. We also help overseas companies bring their high quality investment to the UK’s economy – acknowledged as Europe’s best place from which to succeed in global business. UKTI offers expertise and contacts through its extensive network of specialists in the UK, and in British embassies and other diplomatic offices around the world. We provide companies with the tools they require to be competitive on the world stage. For more information on UKTI, visit or visit the online newsroom at

  11. DCMS are publishing a report ‘Meta-Evaluation of the Impacts and Legacy of the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games: Post-Games Initial Evaluation’ produced by an independent consortium led by Grant Thornton. This report pulls together evidence and data to provide an assessment of impacts of the Games up to the end of 2012 across the four legacy themes of sporting legacy, economic impact, community engagement and East London regeneration along with the cross-cutting themes of disability and sustainability.

  12. The report will be published as a 35 page high-level summary supported by technical reports covering the study research questions and the evidence base for each of the four themes. The summary report draws out 12 key findings, including:

  • the Games have provided a substantial boost to the UK economy, with an potential overall impact to the UK economy of up to £41 billion
  • more of us are participating in sport because of the Games, with 1.5 million more adults participating in sport and recreational activity since 2005 to 2006
  • the Games inspired a generation of children and young people, with half of 11 to 15 yr olds and a third of 5 to 10yr olds saying it motivated them to do more sport
  • the Games were the catalyst for improved elite sporting performance in the UK, driving changes to the management of elite performance which, with increased funding, resulted in medal success
  • the UK tourism industry is growing as a result of the Games, with a net economic impact during 2012 of £600 million and further gains to come as the UK’s image overseas has improved
  • the 2012 Games set new standards for sustainability, both in construction and events management
  • the Games improved attitudes to disability and provided new opportunities for disabled people to participate in society, with unprecedented coverage and viewership of the Paralympics and 62% of people stating that they felt the Games will reduce prejudice
  • communities across the UK engaged with the Games, including 15 million people seeing the Torch Relay and 43 million Cultural Olympiad attendances
  • the Games has increased enthusiasm for volunteering, as 20% of Games Makers volunteered for the first time and 45% indicated they would volunteer more in the future
  • the Games accelerated the physical transformation of East London, delivering the Park itself and numerous catalysed investments such as Westfield
  • socio-economic change in East London has been shaped by the Games, with East London closing the gap on the rest of London on a range of socio-economic indicators
  • the Games delivered many strategic benefits and lessons learnt across all levels of government, particularly driving new ways of working together
  • the meta evaluation will be available at
Published 19 July 2013