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Turning the Games into gold: economic boost from London 2012 has passed £14 billion

The trade and industry boost following the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games has beaten the 4 year target in half the time. 

The UK economy has seen a trade and industry boost in excess of £14 billion following the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, beating the 4 year target of £11 billion in half the time.

As the Commonwealth Games opens in Glasgow, the second annual report on the successful legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games has been released. It highlights how hosting major sports events can bring about benefits that improve people’s lives and help sell the best of Britain to the world.

The £14.2 billion comes from businesses securing contract wins, additional sales and new foreign investment in the 2 years since UKTI’s British Business Embassy at Lancaster House hosted the largest programme of business events held in Britain during London 2012.

Yesterday (23 July) the Prime Minister addressed business and Commonwealth leaders in Glasgow.

The Prime Minister will say:

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 am confident we can build on our experience in London and make Glasgow 2014 so much more than just an amazing sporting event.

The announcement coincides with news that British companies have reported an expected £7 billion of overseas business in Commonwealth countries as a result of UKTI support.

New trade and investment deals worth over £200 million

The Prime Minister will also announce new trade and investment deals worth over £200 million, creating or safeguarding more than 500 UK jobs.

On Sunday UKTI published record-breaking Foreign Direct Investment results for 2013/14, with 1,773 projects spread across the UK and 14% more than the previous year, creating 66,390 jobs – the highest in over a decade – and safeguarding 44,971.

Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Sajid Javid, said:

The legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games is going from strength to strength with the economic, sporting and social benefits being felt by communities across the country. I am sure that the legacy from Glasgow 2014 will build on this further and that the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow will be a fantastic event that inspires many to get involved in sport.

Business Secretary, Vince Cable, said:

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.

UK Trade & Investment has played a key role in helping British companies maximise these opportunities and the result is a £14 billion boost to the UK economy from the Games.

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.

Lord Sebastian Coe, the Prime Minister’s Olympic and Paralympic Legacy Ambassador, said:

This report shows just how much is happening across the country to keep the spirit of London 2012 alive 2 years on from the Games. The country has taken the inspirational performances of our athletes and the uplifting public spirit seen during those few weeks in 2012, and built on it, whether through community projects, volunteering, and new sporting facilities, or through new ways of working together and improved trade relationships.

This report celebrates some of those achievements, but there are many more examples happening all across the country. I look forward to the next 12 months of this legacy journey.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said:

By common consent, London wowed the world when it staged the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. 2 years on from that golden summer we are accelerating the transformation of Stratford and beyond. Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is now reopened and ambitious plans are in place to develop a constellation of educational, artistic, technology and cultural institutions on the site to strengthen our lead as a global force in these sectors and deliver tens of thousands of jobs. This is a living legacy that is reaping economic and social dividends not just here in London but across the UK.


Economic legacy

  • UK firms winning contracts to help stage major sporting events. £150 million worth of business won by 40 companies for the Brazil 2014 World Cup and Rio 2016 Olympics.

  • International visits to the UK increased by 6% in 2013 to 33 million with a 13% increase in visitor spend to £21 billion.

Sport and healthy living legacy

  • More people playing sport than ever before. 15.6 million people aged 16 and over play sport once a week – 1.7 million more than in 2005 when London won the bid to host the Games.

  • An additional year’s funding for primary school sport, bringing the total investment to over £450 million from September 2013, ensuring that children get an excellent experience of sport early on in life.

  • A new £18 million National Lottery fund launched to improve sports facilities in primary schools.

  • Over 16,000 community sports facilities upgraded to date through Sport England’s Inspired Facilities Fund.

  • The government and Mayor of London’s ‘Moving More, Living More’ initiative launched to promote tackling physical inactivity.

Regeneration of East London

  • Transformation of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park complete, parkland and venues re-opened and stadium conversion work underway.

  • More than 1 million visitors to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park since it reopened.

  • 2,800 homes converted from athletes’ village to residential housing.

  • 875 students attending the new Chobham Academy.

  • New educational and cultural facilities planned for Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, supported by Victoria and Albert Museum and University College London.

Bringing communities together

  • Strong volunteering legacy: ‘Join In’ supported 10,000 local events across the country in summer 2013. Rugby League World Cup 2013 and Tour de France Grand Depart 2014 recruited a total of 17,000 volunteers. Rugby World Cup 2015 recruiting 6,000 volunteers.

  • Spirit of 2012 Trust established in November 2013 by Big Lottery Fund, with endowment of £46 million, using proceeds from the sale of the Olympic and Paralympic Athletes’ Village to support sport, arts and volunteering projects across the country.

Paralympic legacy

  • Sport England committed to investing over £170 million in disability sport between 2013 and 2017.

  • National Paralympic Day held on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

  • Stoke Mandeville to have a role in all future Paralympic flame ceremonies.

  • Disability Confident Campaign to help employers tackle barriers to employing disabled people.

Trade and investment

Trade and investment deals between UK and overseas companies announced on Wednesday at the conference include:


  • Neal’s Yard Remedies, a leading UK organic health and beauty care provider who manufactures in Dorset, has announced a 10 year franchise agreement with Starluxe to open 20 stores in Korea to bring in £10 million over the next 5 years.
  • Rochdale-based Precision Technologies Group has secured £3.85 million in export orders to one of China’s leading specialists in ice systems and industrial cooling technologies and Taiwan’s premier air and refrigeration compressor specialists.
  • Marketing agency Seven has expanded its portfolio to Portugal and is expecting to increase revenues by £2 million over the next 3 years.
  • Cheshire-based software company ICC Solutions has announced a £20 million contract to deliver chip and pin test tools and certification services to the US. The move will create up to 50 UK jobs.
  • Standard Life investments has confirmed £12 million worth of new contracts over the last year following the support and advice of UKTI.
  • London-based manufacturing firm, CP Cases, has recently won £1.5 million in contracts, creating 5 new UK jobs to supply high-performance cases and racks to India, Italy, the UAE and South Korea.
  • Nottingham-based business consultancy M4 Management has announced wins of £1.3 million in Poland and expects a further £2.5 million of deals in India, China and the USA, creating 5 new jobs.
  • London-based Trueform Engineering Limited has recently been awarded a major contract to deliver high-quality bus shelter infrastructure throughout the kingdom of Bahrain. As a result of this and wider international expansion into the Middle Eastern market, Trueform expect their revenue to increase by at least £6 million and create 10 additional UK jobs in the manufacturing engineering sector over the next 3 years.
  • Skin care company Bulldog, which produces exclusively for men, has predicted £10 million of export sales and up to 20 new jobs after a number of business wins, predominantly in Sweden.

Inward investment

  • Leading Japanese ICT company KDDI is investing a further £135 million into Telehouse’s data centre campus at London Docklands.
  • Samsung has announced it will create 358 customer support jobs in Leeds at a new customer call centre based in Claypit Lane.
  • US advertising company Intent Media is investing £5 million to open an office in London creating 50 new jobs over the next 2 years.
  • US media buyers Accordant Media is to set up their first UK office, outside the USA, in Soho, creating up to 30 jobs and adding an estimated £3 million to the UK economy.
  • French Technology firm Sofyne Active Technology have been working with UKTI to expand into the UK, USA and China markets. As a result of this, Sofyne will be opening a third UK office in 2015. Growth of over 50 new jobs in the UK, US and China, is expected to increase Sofyne’s revenues by £5 million in the next 3 years.

The Commonwealth Games Business Conference is the first of 2 events dedicated to promoting UK businesses during the high profile sporting events. The British Business House, run by UKTI, is a 3-day conference dedicated to showcasing to business and political leaders the ‘Best of British’. It will also provide a base for businesses, ministers and industry leaders to take part in roundtable discussions, sector-themed seminars hosted by ministers and networking opportunities.

Notes to editors

  1. Read about the Commonwealth Games Business Conference and the British Business House

  2. The British Business House runs at the Glasgow City Chambers from 23 to 25 July. Its objectives are to:
    • develop trade opportunities for UK companies internationally
    • promote inward investment into the UK
    • showcase the Best of British business in priority sectors
    • attract a high calibre international and domestic business audience
    • bring decision makers from around the Commonwealth together to undertake business in the UK
    • provide an exclusive base for business leaders and ministers
    • complement activity at Scotland House
  3. UKTI has helped many UK companies take advantage of opportunities in the Commonwealth market. These include:
    • Courageous Success, an HR training company based in Lincolnshire, who joined UKTI’s Passport to Export scheme and worked with UKTI in Sydney to get their first orders in Australia. Their Australian orders are now projected to account for 15% of their turnover this year.
    • Goody Good Stuff, a vegetarian sweets company based in Lancashire, who joined UKTI’s Passport to Export which helped them to export abroad to Commonwealth countries including Malta, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Canada. The award-winning company now attributes 70% of its business to exports.

For more case studies, please contact UKTI press office.

  1. UKTI’s Inward Investment Annual Report

  2. To see the full Olympics Legacy Report, contact DCMS on 020 7211 6971

  3. An infographic showing the business opportunities with Commonwealth countries can be downloaded

  4. 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. More information on UKTI.

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