The Pre-Games Report sets out our commitment to a transparent and long term evaluation of legacy to generate learning for ourselves, future bidders and hosts, and to add to the international literature.

Executive Summary


  • Glasgow will host the 2014 Commonwealth Games from 23 July to 3 August 2014. It will be the biggest multi-sport event that Scotland has hosted in a generation. Approximately 6,500 athletes and team officials from 71 nations and territories will take part in 17 sports. Five sports will run 22 Para-Sport medal events.
  • Glasgow 2014 and partners are on track to deliver the Games on time and budget. Commercial sponsorship has progressed well, charitable partners are in place, almost all of the publicly available tickets have been sold and up to 15,000 volunteer 'clyde-siders' are now being trained.
  • Since the bidding phase there has also been an emphasis on the positive and lasting benefits that could be achieved for both Scotland and Glasgow. These benefits are often collectively described as the 'legacy'.
  • The evidence suggests that while hosting major sporting events are not in themselves a solution to the economic and social problems of cities or regions, successful legacy is possible if it is well planned, well delivered and embedded in existing policies and programmes. Legacy has been purposefully planned for by partners in Scotland and Glasgow since 2009.
  • The Scottish Government (SG) and partners are committed to a transparent and long term evaluation of legacy - to generate learning for Parliament, Games partners, future bidders and hosts, and to add significantly to the evidence base internationally on major sporting events and legacy. These findings have already been extensively used by SG and partners for legacy planning.


  • The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games will make a short-term contribution to the Scottish economy. We estimate that construction and refurbishment spend on Games venues and the Athletes' Village over the six years leading to 2014 will support on average around 1,000 jobs and contribute £52 million to Scotland's GVA in each year.
  • We also expect the Games to have an impact on the hospitality and tourism sectors in 2014. For each £100 million of additional tourism spend in 2014, around 1,300 FTE jobs will be supported and it will contribute £45 million to Scottish GVA. We have commissioned a Visitor Impact Study at Games-time to measure visitor spend.
  • A key legacy aspiration from Games-related economic activity is to reach young people and the long-term unemployed. Evidence suggests that, if effectively targeted, Games-related employment and training opportunities can achieve this reach. In sum, there are potentially up to 5,000 opportunities available through national training and employability legacy programmes and further opportunities have been secured in Glasgow. Glasgow City Council has also included Community Benefit Clauses in Games-related contracts creating opportunities for local people and businesses.
  • There may be particular scope for growing the events industry by using the Games infrastructure and the developing skills base (paid and voluntary). Partners aim to use the newly-constructed and refurbished venues and the 17 competition sports to attract high-profile sporting events. To date, 37 national and international events have been secured both before and after the Games, with an estimated economic impact of over £14 million.
  • Interest in the volunteer opportunities for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games is high. There were up to 50,000 applications to the Glasgow 2014 Volunteer programme and 15,000 clyde-siders have been recruited. Data suggests that most applicants have recent experience of volunteering in a formal capacity, with over a third volunteering in a sporting capacity in the last 12 months. In complement, the Host City Volunteer Programme, one of Glasgow's 80 legacy projects, is recruiting up to 1,500 people from communities in Glasgow who may face barriers to volunteering.
  • The evidence for long term economic legacy is limited. What we do know is that it depends upon a step change to economic participation, productivity or international reputation. SG and partners recognise this and are working to ensure employment, training and volunteering opportunities are targeting young people and the long-term unemployed. Given the evidence, we anticipate that Scotland's international reputation will be enhanced by hosting a successful Games.


  • The evidence suggests that major sporting events can accelerate and extend regeneration plans, acting as catalysts for socio-economic development. However, these need to be linked to wider, longer-term plans and have community engagement at their heart.
  • There are already signs that the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games are having an impact on the physical and social environment in the area in the East End of Glasgow where much of the Games investment - and crucially - the longer-term, community-led regeneration is happening.
  • The initial £100 million spending in Glasgow and South Lanarkshire by Clyde Gateway URC to help create a regenerated, well-designed and sustainable community in the East End of Glasgow over the six year to the Games is estimated to support on average around 200 jobs and contribute £10 million to Scotland's GVA in each year.
  • Increases in the levels of remediated land, a decrease in vacant and derelict land, creation of green space and construction of business space are already evident. Almost half of respondents in the baseline GoWell East survey say their neighbourhood has improved over the past three years. Results also suggest that residents have a relatively strong sense of being able to influence decisions in the local area.
  • The 'host' community appear to have benefitted from local employment and training opportunities pre-Games. The GoWell East baseline survey found that 7% of working age respondents had undertaken paid employment related to the construction or operation of the new Games facilities or related improvement projects in the period 2011-12. Furthermore, just over 15% of identified their recent or current training, apprenticeship or work experience to be associated with a Games or regeneration project in the area over the same period.


  • Scotland has experienced broadly stable levels of sports participation and physical activity in the adult and child population since 2008. Scotland's experience is typical among middle and high income countries.
  • Evidence suggests that simply hosting a major sporting event does not, in and of itself, lead to automatic population shifts in physical activity. Nonetheless, increases in sports participation amongst certain groups, and under certain conditions, may be plausible due to the Games (the demonstration effect).
  • Frequency of sports participation has increased in Scotland among sports participants over the last five years and this trend may be accelerated if a demonstration effect is at play. We are planning new analysis to test the hypothesis of a link between major events and sports participation.
  • However, a population shift is unlikely without genuine efforts to embed legacy aspirations into long-term policies. Understanding this, the Scottish Government and partners launched a new Physical Activity Implementation Plan in February 2014 entitled 'A More Active Scotland: Building a Legacy from the Commonwealth Games'. This Plan builds on the 2009 Legacy Strategy and on the internationally renowned Toronto Charter.
  • The evidence highlights the 'white elephant' phenomenon - essentially insufficient long-term planning for use of Games infrastructure as a risk. The proportion of new build sporting venues for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games has been less than for other major sporting events, with 70% of venues already in place at the time of bidding. All new and refurbished facilities are already open to the public, schools, clubs and sports bodies for use in advance of the Games. 41.9% of GoWell East survey respondents said they intend to use new or improved sports facilities in their area linked to the Commonwealth Games. This bodes well for sustained use of Games infrastructure.
  • Data suggest an enhancement of the sports infrastructure in Scotland since 2008. The numbers of people employed in the sports and leisure sector has increased; levels of volunteering in sports are stable and there has been an increase in the number of UKCC qualified coaches. Furthermore, the number of Community Sport Hubs are increasing, as is attendance at, and levels of user satisfaction with, local authority leisure facilities.


  • There is limited evidence to help us assess what the long term impact of hosting a major event and its related festivals may be on cultural engagement and the culture sector. It is plausible that widening the range of opportunities helps engage those not interested in sport. Previous major sporting events have seen almost an equal number of people participate in the cultural events as the sporting events (at London 2012 there were more participants at cultural events).
  • Although Scotland already has well known international strengths in culture and festivals, there is some evidence that the scale and reach of cultural programmes associated with major Games can lead to development of the cultural and wider creative industries sector. New partnerships at strategic and project level, for example, can sustain beyond events. The planned evaluation of the Culture and Festival 2014 programme will explore this in more detail.
  • Although it is common for major sporting events to have linked educational and learning programmes that can demonstrate "reach", there is little available evidence of their long-term impact. The evaluation of Game On Scotland will add to the relatively weak evidence base in this area.

In summary

  • Given the long-term and explicit legacy planning for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and the evidence from previous major sporting events, legacy looks possible in a number of areas. These include the regeneration of the East End of Glasgow, an economic boost in the construction, tourism and hospitality sectors and an enhancement of international reputation.
  • For other areas, particularly around population level sport and physical activity, achieving legacy outcomes looks more challenging. SG and partners recognise that the Games may act more as a 'catalyst' for broader strategies, rather than have an effect in and of themselves. To address this, a new ten year Physical Activity Implementation Plan was launched in February 2014.
  • A concerted effort to maintain focus and momentum and embed the aspirations and outcomes into long term strategies will be critical in achieving many legacy outcomes. SG and partners are now working on long term, evidence based, legacy planning to ensure this momentum is sustained post-Games.
  • We will continue to monitor and evaluate Games Legacy in Scotland until 2019. The next report will be published in autumn 2015.


Email: Anita Morrison

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