The Government are committed to maximising the benefits of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games across the UK. The Government's legacy action plan, Before, During and After: Making the Most of the London 2012 Games, sets out how we will ensure that benefits of the Games extend beyond sport to wider opportunities, and beyond London to the rest of the UK. The publication of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games annual report in January 2009 provides an update on the progress that has been made in delivering benefits, in London and beyond.
Both immediate and long-term benefits from the Games will be realised in and outside London. There are community activities and educational and cultural programmes throughout the UK. The free swimming initiative, a key part of the plans to ensure a long-term legacy, means that four out of every five local councils in England have signed up to provide free swimming for over-60s, with more than 200 offering it for young people. The 2012 Get Set website offers a huge variety of educational resources and opportunities targeted at three to 19 year-olds, with more than one in 10 schools and colleges already registered on the site. Around 650 events were held throughout the UK to celebrate the launch of the Cultural Olympiad, a four-year cultural programme designed to celebrate the spirit of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The programme includes opportunities for people from across the UK to be involved in the Games, both in major and local or regional projects.
The economic benefits of the Games for the whole UK are already evident. Nine hundred and thirty-five businesses have won over £3.5 billion of work supplying the ODA with 98 per cent of ODA contracts awarded to UK-based businesses, just under half (45 per cent) of which are outside London.
The Games also creates opportunities outside London for tourism, media, sport and many other sectors; for example, the value of the Games to UK tourism has been estimated to be £2.1 billion.
We are working across government and the Olympic family to develop ways of measuring, analysing and evaluating the wide range of impacts, including those on the economy, sport, physical activity, regeneration and sustainability. The aim of this work is to ensure that we are able to make a rigorous assessment of the benefits of the Games in return for the significant public investment.
Government, together with the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG), has established a nations and regions group, bringing together representatives from each of the nations and regions of the UK with a view to maximising the benefits of the Olympics across the country.