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RESEARCH


Critical to the park’s success will be visitor numbers and the uptake of future opportunities


is in place to promote and deliver a park legacy, integrating economic activity alongside health, education and access to sport and leisure facilities. However, critical to its success will be the early lev- els of visitor numbers and the uptake of residential and business opportunities. If a negative perception of the park devel- ops, it could take years to recover. ● Investment in the softer side of re- generation. Barcelona had 10 years of investment prior to the 1992 Olympic Games, five to 10 years of Olympic invest- ment and a further decade of investment once the Games were over. This is hap- pening in London but, in addition to the decade of sporting events and further major infrastructure programmes, there will also need to be greater focus on the softer elements of regeneration such as social infrastructure, skills investment and community building. ● Maximising the skills legacy. We must take advantage of the opportunities created through the volunteering and skills programmes that have benefited thousands of people since 2005. How can business and other sectors tap into this potential? What job brokerage and supply chain support can be maintained? Does what we have learned on London 2012 suggest new ways of supporting people to get into work, or taking their Games enthusiasm into new volunteering opportunities in and out of sport?


Exporting ‘Brilliant Britain’ The skill and efficiency with which the extremely complex Olympic programme has been put together has provided the


British construction industry, together with its supporting cast of programme managers, designers and engineers, with a massive reputational boost which must be marketed internationally. Yet, while there are exceptions, the relatively fragmented nature of the UK construc- tion sector may limit the extent to which it can compete with giant competitors from France, Germany or the US on glob- al mega-projects. There is more to do for the sector to unlock global opportunity.


Publicity surrounding the Games is already


having a marked impact on attitudes in coveted export markets such as India and China


However, high value services, such as


management planning, technical consult- ing and design are where British business has an advantage. Services from pro- gramme managers, technical specialists and designers have become increasingly exportable in recent times, as the liber- alisation of global trade has embraced the services sector, and British companies have taken full advantage. A successful export strategy will


require targeted investment and pro- motion from government – working in conjunction with individual business- es and trade bodies. We are not only


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promoting our success in staging a major event, this is about Britain’s world class skills in technology, security, operational planning, complex programmes, digital communications and other sectors rel- evant to a huge swathe of business and governmental challenges the world over. The Games also deliver the incalculably


valuable benefit of being the out-and- out focal point of the world’s attention. Recent Deloitte research shows that the publicity surrounding the Games is already having a marked impact on attitudes in coveted export markets such as India and China. Some 60 per cent of respondents in both countries said they are now more likely to want to buy UK products.


Time to act Legacy is already being delivered and the capital programme investment has been a significant success. Sustaining this be- yond the Games will require political and business leadership – focusing on skills, education and other softer elements of regeneration. There are also a myriad of business opportunities at home and abroad stemming from the skills UK plc has demonstrated on the delivery of London 2012. But, here too, sustained focus and targeted investment are necessary if we are to capitalise on these opportunities. There is a limited window for Britain


to make the most of the opportunities arising from London 2012. Brazil hosts the next World Cup and Summer Olym- pic Games, while Russia hosts the Winter Games in 2014 and the following football World Cup in 2018. The focus of interna- tional expertise may shift quickly. ●


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