London’s business gears up for 2012 and beyondJanuary 12, 2007
Agenda for action to secure ’once in a lifetime’ opportunity for London
London business leaders meet today (Monday 15/01/2007) tasked with delivering an Olympian legacy worth billions of pounds to the capital.
A powerful alliance of prominent business leaders, employers’ organisations and household name companies will meet with political leaders, including Olympics Minister, Tessa Jowell, and Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, at a London business summit focusing on the Games, at Arsenal’s Emirates stadium. They will map out their contribution to preparing for, staging and securing long term benefits from the largest sporting event ever seen in the UK.
The Olympic Games and Paralympic Games in London in 2012 will see the capital’s businesses, from the smallest to the largest, working together for common goals – creating jobs, improving opportunities and transforming the look and feel of the capital.
A business prospectus, commissioned by London’s leading business organisations and produced by consultants Arup, predicts that the substantial draw of the Games may generate benefits much earlier than 2012, as well as a legacy which can endure long after the Olympics torch is extinguished.
It champions the formation of a network for London businesses, to work with London 2012 in providing opportunities and proposes five distinct business-led initiatives aimed at securing huge long term benefits to London’s economic competitiveness:
- Promoting London – investing in, improving and co-ordinating the way in which London is marketed overseas
- A step change in employment and skills levels
Increasing and enhancing the impact of corporate community involvement
- Improving London’s ‘visitor offer’, through enhancing the West End’s public areas, increasing the quality and range of hotel accommodation and tourism facilities and improving customer service
- Ensuring that the physical legacy accelerates the growth and regeneration of East London
Ian Barlow, chairman of the London Business Board which brings together the London Chamber of Commerce, CBI and London First, said:
“London 2012 provides a unique opportunity to achieve a step change in the capital’s development and economic performance. The Sydney Games brought economic benefits worth two and half times the costs of staging the event – our aim for London must be to beat that rate of return.
“The legacy of 2012 must be much more than a successful Games and the physical regeneration of the Olympic Park site. Using the Games as a catalyst in the five areas we have identified can enable London to become the leading world city, dynamic, creative and truly international.
“This summit sets out the business agenda for mobilising business to achieve a golden legacy for London’s economy, London’s businesses and people.
”Business in London is committed to this agenda. Just as business backed London’s bid for the 2012 Games, it is now supporting the successful delivery of the Games and their legacy.”
Tessa Jowell, Olympics Minister, said:
”We have achieved a huge amount in a short space of time. Our plans to build the stadiums and facilities for 2012 are well advanced, the land is secured, lottery ticket sales are strong, business partners recruited and financial support in place for our elite athletes. But there are five and a half years to go and we have to maintain the momentum and the commitment to secure the unique legacy promised by 2012.
“We are determined to do just that, working hand in hand with business, the trades unions and, of course, the local community. We know the London Games will be an extraordinary celebration of sport and we have a chance to make it much more – an unprecedented catalyst for economic growth and prosperity. We will not squander that opportunity.”
Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London, said:
“The contribution that business can make to ensuring we maximise the legacy from 2012 is vital. I congratulate the London Business Board for organising today’s summit and I am very pleased to be able to support it through London Development Agency funding. We will work closely with the Board and its members throughout to ensure London maximises the legacy of 2012 so that very soon we will start to see the real improvements that will begin delivering my vision of a regenerated London Thames Gateway.
“The 2012 Games presents London’s businesses with outstanding commercial opportunities in the international promotion of London, both in the construction of the Olympic Park and venues and in supplying the Games with food and services for the workforce as well as to the spectators and tourists who will arrive in our city. Londoners also need to be ready to take advantage of the many opportunities that Olympics will generate so we must have the schemes in place to ensure that people have the right skills so they can fill all the new jobs that London business will create. The London Employment and Skills Taskforce has already begun work establishing the Employer’s Accord and pre-volunteering programme – both of which will guarantee employment opportunities and deliver business a skilled workforce.”
Top of the agenda will be the regeneration of East London – particularly the five key ‘Host boroughs’ of Newham, Tower Hamlets, Greenwich, Hackney and Waltham Forest, where deprivation is as high as anywhere in the UK. Here, the aim is to achieve a ‘step change’ in the skills and aspirations of deprived communities.
But other areas – including the West End – are also set to feel the 2012 factor, as part of the economic benefits of staging the Games.
The London Business Network – currently under development – will be funded initially by business organisations London First, London Chambers of Commerce, the CBI and the London Development Agency (LDA). It will help companies to pool knowledge, expertise, information and support.
Maximising the wider economic benefits was essential to the business case for London bidding for the Games, with business set to benefit from direct opportunities in areas such as construction, hosting services and media contracts, plus the knock-on effects on companies in supply chains, in London and across the UK.
Notes to Editors
The summit is hosted by the London Business Board, with financial support from the London Development Agency. London Business Board consists the three leading business organisations in the capital: London First, London Chambers of Commerce and Industry and CBI London Region.