Study to set the bar for Olympic success

A STUDY to assess how much the London 2012 Olympic Games could be worth to the region has been commissioned by the East of England Development Agency.

A STUDY to assess how much the London 2012 Olympic Games could be worth to the region has been commissioned by the East of England Development Agency

The economic impact study aims to identify the financial gain the region can expect to achieve from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games, taking into account factors such as the potential increase in the region's business and tourism income, and the additional job opportunities.

Besides the economic potential, the study will also detail the potential community, cultural, educational and sporting benefits of the London games, highlighting how the East of England can make plans to ensure it makes the most of the opportunities.

David Marlow, chief executive of EEDA, said: “We are confident that the East of England stands to benefit significantly from the 2012 games but, while we have already identified the main areas of opportunity, the potential economic impact on the region has not yet been quantified.

“This study will do just that. It will inform us of the financial gain that we, as a region, can expect to achieve from the Games, and give us an understanding of when and how investment is required.

“What's more, it will give us the hard facts that we need to construct a detailed regional business plan, so that all regional agencies and private sector organisations can work together to maximise the many potential benefits.”

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EEDA has commissioned the economic impact study in partnership with Sport England East, Living East and the East of England's sub-regional economic partnerships, such as the Suffolk Development Agency, the Haven Gateway Partnership and the Essex Development & Regeneration Agency.

It is being carried out by consultancies Grant Thornton and Torkildsen Barclay and will form the basis of the region's Olympic business plan which is due to be completed before the end of 2006. This will provide guidance on how the region will focus its resources so that it supports sustainable economic development and maximises the wider cultural benefits.

The results of the economic impact study will be available towards the end of May 2006, but an interim report will be presented at a “Check and Challenge” event taking place on Wednesday, April 5 at Hertfordshire University, where delegates will also get a chance to discuss and explore how the initial findings can help shape regional and local plans.

The event will include a keynote speech from Richard Cashman, director of the Australian Centre for Olympic Studies, about the legacy of the Sydney Olympics.

Places at the event are limited, but EEDA is still looking for a regional mix of public and private-sector organisations - which have an interest business, skills, sport, culture or tourism - that would like to attend.

Those interested should contact Suzy Howes Associates on 01223 709521 or email For those unable to attend, EEDA will also be releasing the presentation material and questions to be considered at the event on the EEDA website from April 5.