The legacy of the 2012 Olympics and the impact on the UK today

London 2012 had a big impact on the hearts and minds of the country, not just those living in London but right across the UK. It was an event that proudly showcased UK construction talents, as well as the brightest and most exciting sportswomen and men from around the world. Every Olympics strives to leave behind a long lasting and worthwhile legacy – what did London 2012 achieve and what kind of impact is it having on the UK today?

A world class sporting location

The venues that were constructed for the 2012 Olympics effectively gave London the capacity to host world class sporting events in a much broader way than had been the case before. For example, in 2018 the Women’s Hockey World Cup was hosted at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre. This event attracted spectators from all across the world and capacity had to be increased by 10,000 to cope with the demand for tickets.

It’s hard to imagine that London would have been a first choice for this event – or would have achieved quite such visibility – without the Olympic infrastructure to support it. Other events that have taken place as part of the Olympics legacy include the ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup in 2014 at the Lee Valley White Water Course, the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in 2016 at the Olympic Park and the IAAF Athletics World Championships in 2017 at the Olympic Park.

The economic impact

As London has attracted more and more sporting fixtures, each one has contributed, financially, to the legacy that London 2012 left behind. In fact, more than £130 million has been generated London by National Lottery and taxpayer-funded events – the 2017 IAAF Athletics World Championships in 2017 generated a huge £79 million alone. Some of the other events that have had a very visible economic impact on the UK include:

2013 Triathlon World Grand Final in Hyde Park (economic impact £8 million)

2015 Unibet EuroHockey (economic impact £2.4 million)

2015 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships (economic impact £1.2 million)

2016 LEN European Aquatics Championships (economic impact £4.7 million)

2017 IPC Para Athletics World Championships (economic impact £28 million)

2017 FIH Men’s World League (economic impact £1.2 million)

The legacy, going forward

It’s clear that the London Olympics in 2012 have already left behind quite the positive impact for London, British sport as well as the wider country. However, it doesn’t stop there. The current major events programme that has been designed by UK Sport runs to 2025 and will see some of the biggest sporting contests in the world come to the UK with £30 million investment earmarked. The 2022 World Gymnastics Championships is just one of these huge tournaments that will be hosted here.

More than seven years on from the London Olympics, the focus and hard work that has gone into creating a real legacy for the country has started to bear fruit. As International Olympic Committee (IOC) Olympic Games Executive Director, Christophe Dubi said, “This is a great example of how the Olympic Games can transform lives and provide diverse long-term benefits for a city for years and decades to come.”

Take a look at some of our own projects to see how we’ve been inspired here.

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