What’s happened since the London 2012 Olympics took place?
In many ways the London 2012 Olympics came at a tough time for the UK. Although the original celebrations at winning the bid were hopeful, three years into the planning stages the world was gripped by a financial crisis that had a very significant impact on the UK. It was not the time for the government to be spending big on unnecessary items.
At the time, unemployment was rising across the country and government budget cuts were huge – of a size unprecedented since the Second World War. And yet the Games still took place and were a big success. So much so that they have continued to deliver benefits for London, and for the UK, ever since. So what has happened since 2012?
Complete regeneration of a forgotten area
Stratford was chosen as the site for the London Olympics when it was really nothing more than a former industrial area that had fallen into state of real neglect. It was 500-acres of wasteland that had been contaminated and left to rot. However, the arrival of the Olympics completely regenerated the area and made it not just a centre for sport but a desirable place to live and visit too. Not least, since the Games finished, this part of London has seen the construction of 11,000 homes.
Creating more economic impact
One of the major legacies of the London 2012 Olympics has been the economic impact it has had. This has been very visible in terms of the events that have taken place since 2012 and the financial benefits that these have generated. For example, the IAAF World Athletics Championships in 2017 generated almost £80 million in terms of economic impact. There have been a range of other sporting events that have also taken place here thanks to the infrastructure and legacy left behind after the Olympics, including the 2013 Triathlon World Grand Final in Hyde Park.
In addition, a wealth of new employment opportunities have been created and there have been financial benefits as a result of all the visitors who have come to events and just to see the Olympic Park. Of course there have been some negatives associated with the legacy too. The most prominent is the way that the Olympic Stadium has been managed after the Games. As a result of the fact that West Ham football club currently only pays £2.5 million in rent per year the London Stadium is expected to lose £140 million in public money over the next decade.
The feel good factor
A boost to morale has been another noticeable shift since the 2012 Olympics. This has been driven in particular by ongoing development around the site, as well as the way the area continues to evolve, for example with the addition of world class universities, new schools, businesses and museums. In tough times, the “Recession Games” have given the UK a lot to feel good about.
Plenty has happened since 2012 and most of it has contributed to an increased sense of pride in the UK, in its sporting achievements, construction and resilience, above all.