Olympic impact outside of London questioned

The 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic games boosted the UK economy by £9.9 billion, according to Government data. However the benefits have rarely been felt by businesses outside of London and the south east of England, according to research by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

The £9.9 billion figure includes £2.5 billion worth of inward investment into the UK, of which the Government says 58 per cent will be invested outside of London. The total figure also includes £1.5 billion of overseas opportunities for UK firms.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

"This £9.9 billion boost to the UK economy is a reminder to the world that, if you want the best, if you want professionalism, if you want jobs done on time and on budget then you should think British.

"With companies across the country we are harnessing the Olympic momentum and delivering the lasting business legacy of the Games that will help make Britain a winner in the global race."

However, while it found that growth had been achieved by 55 per cent of small businesses that won Olympic contracts, the FSB said that UK regions other than capital and south east failed to fully cash in on the games. The one notable exception was Weymouth, which hosted the sailing events.

The FSB's national policy chairman, Mike Cherry, said:

"The Games were a tremendous spectacle for the UK, however, a year on it's difficult to say what the true economic legacy is for micro and small businesses.

"Out in the nations and regions we found that the effect of the Olympic and Paralympics for small businesses didn't materialise as much as had been hoped. Some businesses certainly did benefit from the games with really good contracts, but for others it just didn't happen."