MORE than £769 million has been invested in Scottish construction contracts linked to the Commonwealth Games, according to a business analyst.
Most of the money was spent upgrading Glasgow’s sports facilities, with the 35-hectare Athletes’ Village valued at £300m, according to industry specialists Barbour ABI.
A combined £217m has also been spent on the Emirates Arena, incorporating the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, and the purpose-built SSE Hydro national arena at Pacific Quay.
A total of £120m was used to upgrade existing sports facilities in Glasgow and further afield, such as the £30m refurbishment of the Grade-A listed Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh.
More than £50m of post-summer regeneration work is also in the pipeline.
Michael Dall, lead economist at Barbour ABI, said: “With the Scottish economy now growing past its pre-recession levels, and our latest Economic and Construction Market Review showing that the country dominated medical and health, industrial and education construction contracts in the UK last month, the future is certainly looking bright for contractors over the coming months.”
The figures were welcomed by construction industry representatives, the Scottish Government and Glasgow’s civic leaders, who have emphasised the need to build a legacy from the event.
Vaughan Hart, managing director of the Scottish Building Federation, said the data added to other encouraging signs that suggest the sector grew last year.
Mr Hart said: “Official figures show the value of the Scottish construction sector rose by £1 billion during 2013 and it’s clear from these latest figures that Commonwealth Games- related contracts have provided a positive contribution to this rise in output.
“With substantial regeneration work still to be completed as part of the Games legacy, the Commonwealth Games will continue to assist the industry throughout the remainder of 2014.
“This investment will be hugely welcomed by contractors at a time when work remains ongoing to build a sustainable long-term recovery within the industry.”
Gordon Matheson, the leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “By working hard to get our procurement practices right we have managed to secure 550 jobs for new entrants into the jobs’ market on Commonwealth Games projects. I am particularly delighted that £200m of Games contracts were won by Glasgow businesses.”
Earlier this week, the economic benefits that can accrue from hosting major sporting events were underlined when Prime Minister David Cameron came to Glasgow and announced that the four-year target of raising £11bn for the UK economy from deals signed during the London Olympics has been surpassed two years early.
Contracts, sales and foreign investment linked to UK Trade and Industry’s (UKTI) British Business Embassy during London 2012 have passed £14bn this year, according to the second annual report on the Olympic’s legacy.
The report found £5.9bn of additional sales by UK firms as a result of UKTI activity, £3.58bn of Olympic-related access to high-value overseas projects, and £4.72bn of additional foreign direct investment into the UK, with 55 per cent of the projects outside London.
A Scottish Government spokesman said: “The Commonwealth Games in Glasgow is about much more than medals – it is also a catalyst for regeneration, innovation and sustainable economic growth.
“To date, the construction and refurbishment of Games venues has contributed £52m to Scotland’s economic output measured in gross value-added terms each year since 2008, while Scottish businesses have won Games-related contracts worth £287m.
“Increased tourist interest in Glasgow and Scotland as a whole will also boost the economy and create jobs.
“The Scottish Government is committed to maximising the many opportunities hosting the Games brings, ensuring we secure a lasting social, cultural and economic legacy for the whole of Scotland.”