Glasgow Commonwealth Games put £740m into economy

THE Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games contributed more than £740 million to Scotland’s economy and supported thousands of jobs, according to a new report.

The 2014 Commonwealth Games Closing Ceremony. Picture: Michael Gillen

The Post-Games Report, published today exactly one year on from the opening ceremony, found that the event brought social, cultural and economic benefits to the whole of Scotland.

Over the eight years from winning the bid to hosting the event, the Games contributed more than £740 million gross to the country’s economy, including £390 million for Glasgow’s economy.

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It also supported on average 2,100 jobs each year from 2007 and 2014, including 1,200 on average in Glasgow, the report found.

The event attracted around 690,000 unique visitors, whose spending contributed, in net terms, around £73 million to the economy in 2014.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “The 2014 Commonwealth Games was an unforgettable event and a resounding sporting success. Widely regarded as the best Games in their history, it was a chance for Glasgow and Scotland to show the world the very best that we have to offer.

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“But as this evaluation report also shows, the Games were about far more than two weeks of great sport. The economic, cultural and regeneration benefits have been significant.

“More than 11,000 young people across Scotland have benefitted from Games-related employability programmes. In excess of 20,000 opportunities to take part through volunteering were created - at the Games themselves, the ceremonies, in Glasgow City at Games time and through the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme. One in ten East End households in the GoWell East study reported employment gains from the Games.

“Along with our partners, we’ve always been determined to ensure that there is a lasting legacy to the Games that starts in the East End of Glasgow and stretches well beyond. We now have 60 national legacy programmes in place, with the latest, a leadership programme for young people called 33Sixty, being announced today.

“Through these schemes we are funding, encouraging and promoting programmes large and small in communities right around the country, and ensuring that the benefits of the Games will be felt for many years to come.”

The report also found the Games brought significant investment in regeneration, particularly in the East End of Glasgow, Rutherglen and South Lanarkshire, with land remediation, transport infrastructure, and sports facilities like the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, Emirates Arena and Tollcross International Swimming Centre, all of which are now being used by the public.

National tourism organisation VisitScotland said that the games, which reached an estimated global audience of 1.5 billion people, has left a lasting legacy on the country’s growing event tourism industry.

Mike Cantlay, chairman of VisitScotland, said: “As host of the ‘best-ever’ Commonwealth Games, Glasgow 2014 was a game-changer in what was a golden year for Scottish tourism.

“It was a chance to show the world that Scotland has the culture, food and drink, landscapes and welcoming people to be a serious contender when it comes to top tourism destinations. It also reinforced Scotland’s reputation as the perfect stage for events. In 2015 alone, we are hosting nine major golfing tournaments, the IPC World Swimming Championships, the World Gymnastics Championships, the Turner Prize and several more global sporting and cultural events.

“With the highest-ever combined spend by domestic and overseas visitors in a decade and a strong start to 2015, it is clear that the engagement and high profile of major global events, such as the Commonwealth Games, had a distinct impact on our important visitor economy.”