Policy paper

2010 to 2015 government policy: 2012 Olympic and Paralympic legacy

Updated 8 May 2015

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

This is a copy of a document that stated a policy of the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government. The previous URL of this page was https://www.gov.uk/government/policies/creating-a-lasting-legacy-from-the-2012-olympic-and-paralympic-games. Current policies can be found at the GOV.UK policies list.


London’s successful bid to host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games included plans for what would happen after the Games: the Olympic and Paralympic legacy.

The government is putting those plans into action to create a lasting economic, sporting and cultural legacy that will benefit the whole country.


The Olympic and Paralympic Legacy Unit oversees the government’s and Mayor of London’s programme of legacy activity, across the UK and internationally.

The team works with businesses, charities, arm’s length bodies, and regional and local partners.

On 19 July 2013, the government and Mayor of London published the report Inspired by 2012: the legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. On 23 July 2014, the second annual report was published to capture legacy activities in the second year after the Games, Inspired by 2012: the legacy from the Olympic and Paralympic Games - second annual report.

In addition the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has published an independent meta-evaluation of the impact of the Games, and UKTI has published a report into delivery of the economic legacy.

The long term vision for the legacy of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games was published on 13 February 2014.

Economic growth

The Games have generated £14.2 billion of trade and investment benefits for the UK economy in the first two years since London 2012. With the GLA, the government is working to make the most of the trade and investment opportunities arising from the London 2012 Games.

Read more about the economic legacy.

Sport and healthy living

From grassroots to elite level, across schools, sport centres and community venues throughout the country, London 2012 has laid foundations that will inspire a generation and help transform people’s relationship with physical activity, including sport, whatever their age, background or ability.

Read more on the sport and healthy living legacy.


Through community projects that took place across the country and the torch relay, the Olympic and Paralympic spirit touched the lives of millions in the UK. We’re aiming to capture this spirit to create positive change at a community level.

Read more about the communities legacy.

East London regeneration

London 2012 was the catalyst for one of the largest and most ambitious transformation projects undertaken in Europe in recent times. One of the most important legacies is the development of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and surrounding areas in east London. This includes new waterways and green spaces, the north and south park, Westfield shopping centre, the East Village district, as well as 4 other districts that will be developed for communities living in east London over the next 5 to 7 years.

Read more on the east London regeneration legacy.

Paralympic legacy

The Paralympic legacy programme has 3 main themes:

  • transforming the perception of disabled people in society
  • supporting opportunities to participate in sport and physical activities
  • promoting community engagement through the Games

Read more on the Paralympic legacy


In 2003 the government of the day, the GLA and the London Development Agency (LDA) agreed to bid for the 2012 Games to be held in London.

In 2005 London was awarded the 2012 Games based on a bid that promised an enduring legacy.

In 2009 the Olympic Park Legacy Company was created, and the Olympic Host Boroughs developed a Strategic Regeneration Framework for reducing their levels of social and economic disadvantage to match other London boroughs (a process known as ‘convergence’).

In 2011 the London Legacy Development Corporation was established as the UK’s first Mayoral Development Corporation.

In March 2012 the Department of Culture, Media and Sport published Beyond 2012 - The London 2012 Legacy Story.

Between July and September 2012, London hosted the Olympic & Paralympic Games.

It will take at least another 10 years for the full benefits of the legacy from the London 2012 Games to be realised.

Who we’re working with

Appendix 1: East London regeneration

This was a supporting detail page of the main policy document.

Olympic Park

The London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC),, an agency of the Mayor of London, has already started its £300 million construction project to transform the Olympic site into the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

The park in east London will create a new visitor destination, offering venues and attractions alongside new homes, schools and businesses, amongt open green spaces in the heart of east London. The park started re-opening in phases from 27 July 2013, exactly 1 year after the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games. The Copper Box arena was the first venue to open fully in July 2013.

East London boroughs and convergence

In 2009 the Olympic host boroughs (Barking & Dagenham, Greenwich, Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest) developed a strategic regeneration framework (SRF). The overall aim of the strategy is that within 20 years the communities who hosted the 2012 Games will have the same social and economic chances as their neighbours across London.

The Olympic Host Borough SRF was endorsed by the mayor and the government in 2011. In the same year the 6 host boroughs (5 original host boroughs plus Barking & Dagenham), along with the Greater London Authority (GLA), published a ‘Convergence action plan for 2011 to 2015’. The action plan set out how they would all work with partners to achieve convergence - the reduction of social and economic disadvantage in the host boroughs to levels similar to those in the rest of London.

Further information

Appendix 2: Olympic Truce

This was a supporting detail page of the main policy document.

What is the truce?

The ancient ninth Century BC Greek tradition of Ekecheiria (“Olympic Truce”), called for a truce during the Olympic Games to encourage a peaceful environment and ensure safe passage and participation of athletes and relevant persons at the Games, thus mobilising the youth of the world in support of peace.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) revived the Truce in 1992 and the first United Nations (UN) General Assembly Resolution was passed. It is renewed every two years in advance of the summer and winter Games.

What was different about the London 2012 Games?

For the first time ever, the 2011 UN General Assembly resolution on the Olympic Truce was co-sponsored by all 193 UN Member States. This demonstrates that the Olympic Truce is more relevant to more member states than ever.

Also for the first time ever the UK, as Games host, implemented an international programme of Olympic Truce activities. This was the result of a new level of ambition. The FCO developed a global programme of over 80 activities promoting peace and conflict resolution through sport, culture, education and wider public participation.

The UK is engaging with the IOC, the UN and future Games hosts to ensure future Olympic Truce Resolutions to have an international aspect. We are encouraging future host nations to develop ambitious international Olympic Truce programmes, to bring the Olympic ideals of peace to all corners of the world.

On the eve of London 2012 the Foreign Secretary and the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, held a Press Conference on the Olympic Truce. Mr Ban commended the UK for giving life to the Olympic Truce with social and development projects at home and abroad that have benefitted thousands, and encouraged the future Olympic hosts to take up the challenge and match the UK’s initiatives.

Adoption of the United Nations Resolution on the Olympic Truce

The UK sponsored the UN Resolution on the Olympic Truce entitled “Building a peaceful and better world through sport and the Olympic ideal” on 17 October 2011. In an unprecedented show of support, all 193 UN Member States co-sponsored the Resolution at the UN in New York, signing up to the ideals of peace and conflict resolution and the premise that individuals, not countries, compete against each other in sport in peaceful competition without the burden of politics, religion, or racism. Lord Coe led the UK delegation to New York. You can read his speech on the London 2012 website. Find out more about what happened in New York on the UK Mission to the United Nations website.

In Geneva, on the same day that the Olympic Truce Resolution was adopted, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met Lord Bates who was “walking for truce” from Mount Olympus in Greece to London.

Ban Ki-moon praised Lord Bates for raising awareness of the Truce and for highlighting the fact that everyone has the possibility of making a personal contribution to peace. Ban Ki-moon said that he hoped that London 2012 would provide great momentum to solving the many conflicts which face the world.

How did the UK promote the ideals of the Olympic Truce?

The UK’s International Programme

For the first time ever, the UK, as Games host, implemented an international programme of Olympic Truce activities promoting its ideals. The FCO, with partners, developed a global programme of over 80 activities, promoting peace and conflict resolution through sport, culture, education and wider public participation under the themes of:

  • Local solutions to local problems: Preventing conflict and building peace requires the involvement of the local communities who are most affected. We looked for opportunities to work with host governments, communities, faith groups, civil society and the media to build relationships across boundaries.

  • Legitimate Politics: Legitimate politics are essential for peace. The most peaceful political systems are accountable, give everybody a voice and are trusted to manage difference and accommodate change. We worked with Parliamentarians and bodies such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the Westminster Foundation for Democracy and the Commonwealth promoting the Truce and encouraging public commitments to conflict prevention and peace-building.

  • Building a 2012 Truce legacy: Through an active public diplomacy programme we increased international public interest and involvement in conflict prevention and peace-building and we continue to work to raise the level of ambition for future Olympic Truces.

Some examples of our overseas activities include:

  • The British High Commission in Barbados hosted a football match with the Pinelands Creative Workshop, a local NGO, to build trust between rival gangs in an underprivileged area to combat crime. The match brought together players for the first time in an environment free of violence. Those who took part would not normally stray into each others’ areas or meet, for fear of attack and injury.

  • The British Embassy in Quito sponsored a number of projects to raise awareness to the importance of children’s rights in Ecuador. The project supported children’s participation in society to reduce the chances of children turning to violence.

  • In Sri Lanka the British High Commission hosted a Paralympic style sports day for disabled soldiers, disabled ex-LTTE combatants and disabled civilians. Sport acted as a “quiet diplomat”, bringing together former adversaries to understand each others’ perspectives, embracing diversity and encouraging inclusivity.

  • The British Embassy in Sarajevo brought together students from different communities to film and produce short documentaries, gaining valuable and practical skills, increasing employment possibilities. A film specifically on the Olympic Truce was played during the Sarajevo Film Festival in July 2012.

Working in partnership with NGOs

FCO Ministers regularly met with NGOs and the FCO held regular stakeholder meetings with NGOs. These included:

Activities in the UK

Some examples of NGO activities include:

  • Manchester-based NGO Peace Unlimited’s ‘We Are Human First’ campaign took inspiration from the Olympic Truce to run workshops in art, film-making, music, radio broadcasting and writing to engage young people across Greater Manchester in what peace means to them and how conflict resolution can lead to community cohesion and peace.

  • The London Boroughs Faiths Network established a broad-based Peace Network in London, which brought together local religious communities, multi-faith and secular grassroots groups to bridge divisions and promote non-violent responses to conflict.

  • The United Nations Association of the UK held a debate involving over 200 students from schools across the UK to debate a resolution on the Olympic Truce.

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) organised Olympic Truce activities in the UK including:

  • Get Set for the Olympic Truce encouraged young people across the UK to learn about the history of the Olympic Truce, to debate and discuss what the Olympic Truce means to their lives and to undertake an activity to promote peace within their school or community. Over 20,000 schools registered with Get Set.

  • Truce Inspire, a ‘Truce’ strand of the Inspire programme through which LOCOG specifically looked for projects inspired by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, used sport or culture to promote conflict resolution, reconciliation and peace. LOCOG approved a number of projects including: a project led by the University of Ulster which used sport to support conflict resolution across the education sector; a project which provided 200 schools with the opportunity to debate the theme of the Olympic Truce at a Model UN conference; and a project which brought together young people from London communities affected by gang rivalry through sport.

  • Cultural Olympiad and the London 2012 Festival organised by LOCOG and the NGO, Peace One Day, delivered a truce strand of the Film Nation: Shorts project which encouraged 14 to 25-year-olds to create films focused on the Truce theme. LOCOG also partnered with Peace One Day to deliver a series of concerts as part of the London 2012 Festival.

The London 2012 Olympic Truce Report

Read the Olympic Truce Report

What is the UK’s Olympic Truce legacy?

The UK’s work on the Olympic Truce has shown what raised ambition can achieve internationally. Future host nations are now working on their own ideas and we are working with them. Our Embassies in future host countries can help link ongoing activity in the UK with the emerging Olympic Truce programmes of future host nations.

Speaking at the Press Conference on the eve of London 2012, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said,

The Truce may sound like something from the distant past that has no place in our times. It may seem naive to think that hardened fighters and their patrons will listen, but relevant it is, and try we must… We often take sport, play and leisure for granted, yet millions of people around the world do not have access to sports, or are actively denied their right to participate. I call on all Governments and sport organisations to provide opportunities for sport, physical activity and play. This is not a luxury. It is an investment in better health, education and skills for coming generations – critical for building inclusive societies grounded in mutual tolerance and respect… When you see the magic that a ball can create among children in a shantytown or refugee camp, you see potential that we must harness.

We held a joint Olympic Truce legacy forum on 25 March 2013 with the International Olympic Committee, UN and future host nations. Speaking at the Forum, FCO Minister for Conflict Issues, Mr Simmonds, said:

Through our global network, working alongside other government departments and civil society, we delivered a series of activities to illustrate how a shared love of sport and culture can help overcome differences and promote conflict prevention and peace …… We now look to Russia, Brazil and South Korea to follow on with their own international Olympic Truce programmes and we were delighted that they participated in today’s forum.

Tommy Sithole, IOC Director of International Cooperation and Development said at the Forum:

The Olympic Truce Resolution for the 2012 Games received the unanimous support of all 193 UN Member States. This shows the power of sport and the Olympic Games to bring people together in a celebration of what unites us, not what divides us.

Wilfried Lemke, UN Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace, said:

The power of sport is an important resource that we can harness with the aim of promoting peace and stability at a global level. The Olympic Truce provides the opportunity for conflict zones to set aside their differences and come together under the same peaceful terms ….. sport is a social and cultural phenomenon that can contribute to promote peace and positive social changes. The UK established a best practice for the practical application of the Olympic Truce and I encourage future Olympic hosts to follow suit.

Appendix 3: economic growth

This was a supporting detail page of the main policy document.

UK Trade & Investment

During the 2012 Games, UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) ran the British Business Embassy as a venue to welcome overseas trade ministers and business people. The British Business Embassy model will be used during future international events.

Since the 2012 Games UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) has delivered a programme of trade missions, events, exports and marketing advice for UK companies with a focus on high value opportunities in Olympic related sectors such as global sports, infrastructure and security. The whole of government has worked with thousands of British firms as we follow up the contacts, networks, announcements and momentum created by the Games.

London & Partners, the official promotional organisation for London, is working to maintain London’s reputation as a destination for business investment, business tourism and major events. This includes a series of overseas visit led by the Mayor of London, including to India, China, Brazil, the USA and Russia.

Lord Coe supports this work internationally, such as when he visited Spain in March 2013 to talk about the economic, sporting and social legacy of London 2012.

Promoting Great Britain

The GREAT campaign uses the 2012 Games to showcase Britain’s capabilities, to promote and enhance our reputation abroad, and to maximise the economic potential of the Games. Its aim is to help the world discover why Britain is such a great place to visit, study, work, invest and do business. Capitalising on the success of the Games and the campaign so far, key markets for 2013 to 2015 are the US, Brazil, Russia, India, China, France, Germany, Turkey, Indonesia, South Korea, Mexico, Indonesia, Poland and emerging Europe

VisitBritain is the national tourism agency, responsible for marketing Britain worldwide & developing Britain’s visitor economy. The agency is running a marketing campaign, working with commercial partners such as British Airways, Easy Jet, American Express, Hilton Hotels and Radisson Edwardian to offer great deals to international consumers. The aim over 4 years is to generate an extra 4.7 million visitors to the UK and raise an extra £2.3 billion of tourism spend from international tourist visitors.

Licensing Olympic suppliers

The British Olympic Association (BOA) has reached agreement with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to create a new licensing scheme that will benefit many of the businesses involved in supplying goods and services for the Games. These businesses can now promote their part in the success of the Games.

Olympic security legacy: supporting the UK security industry

Our success securing the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games gives us an opportunity to promote the UK security industry internationally. This work is not just about major sporting events - the security model used at Games venues can equally be used for any major project, such as building a new airport, or as part of a national counter-terrorism programme.

Learning Legacy

London 2012 was delivered on time and on budget, demonstrating excellence in site design, construction and running major events. A significant amount of learning and case studies have been developed and are being promoted by the Major Projects Authority through the Learning Legacy website.

Further information

Inspired by 2012 - get brand guidance and logos for legacy projects

Appendix 4: sport and healthy living

This was a supporting detail page of the main policy document.

Sports participation

The London 2012 bid was centred on a desire to use the power of the Olympic and Paralympic Games to inspire more young people into sport. We are doing this by:

Find out more about what we’re doing to get more people playing sport.

Elite sport

UK Sport is investing £347 million in elite sport over the next 4 years in the run-up to Rio 2016. This means Britain’s elite athletes are able to train full time and concentrate on their performance.

All funded UK athletes are expected to spend 5 days a year visiting schools and community sports projects to help inspire a generation of young people to get involved in sport.

Find out more about what we’re doing to maintain and improve our elite sporting performance.

Sporting events

Following the London 2012 Games, the United Kingdom is planning a decade of major sporting events. Full information about these events can be found at the UK Sport Gold Event Series website.

Physical activity

The UK government and the Mayor of London are making a commitment to promote physical activity across the country’s population, as part of the legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Read about what government and the Mayor are doing to promote a more physically active nation in Moving More, Living More.

Healthy living

The Department of Health (DH) promotes participation in wider physical activity as part of a healthy lifestyle. Find out more about DH’s work, including programmes such as the Responsibility Deal, Change4Life, and investment in Change4Life sports clubs that aim to increase physical activity in children that are the least physically active.

The Department for Education (DfE) is responsible for school sport policy. Department for Education: health and wellbeing

Further information

Appendix 5: communities

This was a supporting detail page of the main policy document.

Big Lottery Fund

The Big Lottery Fund has set up Spirit of 2012 to create an Olympic and Paralympic legacy for communities across the UK. The money it receives from the sale of the Olympic Village, likely to be between £30 million and £40 million, will go into the fund.


Games Makers and Team London Ambassadors are continuing to contribute to their local communities and promote volunteering.

Join In was set up during London 2012 as the national charity for local sports volunteering. They help clubs and groups who need volunteers, provide opportunities for people to get involved and promote the social value created by volunteers.

Team London volunteers continue to help out at major events in the capital, assist visitors at tourist hot-spots and promote volunteering through engagement with schools.


The Cultural Olympiad, the 4 year UK-wide cultural programme that ran from 2008 and ended with the London 2012 Festival, attracted more than 43 million visitors, participants, audiences and volunteers according to the official evaluation by the Institute of Cultural Capital at the University of Liverpool.

Many initiatives that began with the Cultural Olympiad, such as the Creative Employment Programme and Unlimited, are building on the cultural legacy of the Games.

More information and a summary of the Cultural Olympiad evaluation can be found on the Arts Council website.


Get Set was the official London 2012 education programme, designed for schools and colleges across the UK. Around 85% of UK schools (over 26,000) registered with the programme. The British Olympic Association and British Paralympic Association are now managing Get Set.


London 2012 was lauded as the greenest Games ever and demonstrated a sustainable approach to site design, construction and running major events. A significant amount of learning and case studies about green infrastructure and sustainable procurement have been developed and are being promoted by the Major Projects Authority through the Learning Legacy website and by Natural England.

Community events

A number of events were held around the country to mark one year on from the Games, including Community Games in England mirroring the route of the Olympic Torch Relay and Our Big Gig, a summer festival of community music events.

Further information

Inspired by 2012 - get brand guidance and logos for legacy projects

Appendix 6: paralympic legacy

This was a supporting detail page of the main policy document.

The London 2012 Paralympic Games shone a light on the abilities and achievements of disabled people in an unprecedented way, raising the profile of disabled people and shifting attitudes.

The government and the Mayor of London are committed to developing and delivering a legacy that builds upon the impetus that 2012 provided.

Paralympic themes run throughout the different areas of legacy, but in addition:

In December 2012 we set up a dedicated Paralympic Legacy Advisory Group. This advisory group is made up of representatives from leading disability charities, Disabled People’s User-Led Organisations (DPULOs), Paralympians and business. It aims to:

  • provide a voice for organisations not currently represented on other legacy committees
  • bring the Paralympic-associated legacy elements of the programme together
  • assist the government and Greater London Authority (GLA) in implementing the Paralympic legacy programme
  • provide a forum through which to engage external organisations, and to seek their advice and support
  • make sure that opportunities are taken in London and across the UK

The Built Environment Professional Education Project

On 3 December 2013 the Built Environment Professional Education Project (BEPE) was launched. Inspired by the Paralympic Legacy Advisory Group, this project aims to make inclusive design a key part of education and training for all built environment professionals. The first anniversary of the project was marked by a reception held in City Hall, London.

Inclusive design is a process that ensures that all buildings, places and spaces can be easily and comfortably accessed and used by everyone.

A BEPE Project Board oversees the project. It is chaired by Paul Morrell (the government’s Chief Construction Adviser from November 2009 to November 2012) and the board members are high level senior figures drawn from the built environment professions. Many built environment professional institutions have now committed to working on the project.