An Evaluation of Legacy from the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games: Post Games Report

This report is the first post games legacy evaluation report for the XX Commonwealth Games it aims to generate learning for ourselves, future bidders and hosts, and to add to the international literature

8. Organisational Legacy

8.1 This chapter sets out the evidence to date that helps answer the following question in the Pre Games Report:

Is there a partnership legacy from the Games?

8.2 In particular, the Pre Games Report asks whether organisations worked together to maximise Games opportunities. This chapter describes the partnership context for the delivery of the Games, evidence on the extent to which partnership working was successful, and the wider legacy for organisations involved in the Games. This wider legacy includes human capital legacy in terms of skills and experience developed among organisations’ workforces and a ‘delivery’ legacy in terms of physical assets and systems and processes used during Games delivery which have been retained, redistributed, and enhanced for use in a range of post Games environments.

Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Partnerships

8.3 Events of the scale and complexity of a Commonwealth Games clearly cannot be delivered by one organisation alone. In submitting a bid to host, the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) requires a partnership to be established. The bid itself is submitted by the host nation Commonwealth Games organisation; the support of the national and local government of the host nation and city is required, and the CGF also requires an independent company to be established to co-ordinate the delivery of the event.

8.4 The four strategic partners, therefore, who signed the contract with the CGF to deliver the Games to an agreed standard, are Commonwealth Games Scotland; Scottish Government; Glasgow City Council and Glasgow 2014 Ltd (the Organising Committee). These four strategic partners also signed a Minute of Agreement in 2008 which set out their respective roles and responsibilities. These roles included introducing required legislation and overall responsibility for a safe and secure Games (Scottish Government); delivery of major infrastructure projects including transport, venues and Athletes’ Village (Glasgow City Council) and planning and delivery of the event (Organising Committee).

8.5 High level joint governance arrangements were established by the partners through the setting up of the Glasgow 2014 Strategic Group. The Strategic Group was chaired by the First Minister, had representatives from all partners and responsibility for overarching direction of Games planning and delivery, including ensuring the Games contributed to local and national objectives and long term legacy.

8.6 Underneath this high level governance structure was, and continues to be, an extensive range of partnerships across public, private and third sector organisations aimed at ensuring a successful Games and legacy. Police Scotland, Transport Scotland and sportscotland, among many other national government agencies played critical roles in Games delivery.

8.7 Equally, no single organisation could have delivered Scotland’s legacy aspirations on its own. Many of Scotland’s national bodies - including those in charge of sport, culture, health, tourism, enterprise and skills development – were closely involved in devising and delivering legacy programmes. Third sector organisations, such as the Lottery distributors and those representing young people, were important in engaging with individuals and communities by providing opportunities to participate in Games related activities. Local authorities played a key role in broadening the geographical reach of the legacy and making it relevant and meaningful across Scotland.

8.8 The Glasgow 2014 Organising Committee had, for the first time in a Commonwealth Games, an Engagement and Legacy Team whose remit was to develop a ‘legacy conscience’ within the organisation and in the delivery of the Games.

Evidence to date of Games Effect


8.9 The Games were delivered successfully, and Audit Scotland, in their third audit report on the Games[90], identified effective partnership working as one of the factors that contributed to this success. Their findings are that seven factors contributed to the success of the partnership working: a shared vision; clear governance arrangements; clear roles and responsibilities; appropriate seniority of staff in decision making; continuity of staff; personality of staff and good information sharing between partners.

8.10 It is inevitable, given the scale and complexity of the Games undertaking, that challenges in partnership working arose. For example, Audit Scotland found in their second report that joint working arrangements at the operational level were overly complex, with a large number of working groups whose responsibilities and accountability were not always well defined.[91] The risk of delays in decision making was recognised, and as the Games time approached, it was recommended that partners developed clearer, faster and more streamlined delegation and decision making processes as part of the governance arrangements. Partners established a Games Executive Committee in response to this, which enabled faster operational decision making during Games Time.

8.11 Other evidence is available from a Scottish Government Lessons Learned project[92] which was developed to capture organisational learning from the experience of delivering such a major event. These lessons learned were collected from Scottish Government and wider public sector staff using several different methods: desk based research, Games Time Observation, a staff survey and a Lessons Learned Event.

8.12 This research found staff involved in the event themselves felt there was good partnership working across a number of different levels – between the four Games partners, across wider stakeholder partners and across local authorities. Staff views were that the nature of the Games created a high profile, ambitious and tangible goal with a clear and public time limit, and this required and enabled effective partnership working.

8.13 The Games, due to its visibility, size, complexity, and clear deadline, were also thought to encourage new working relationships. In order to deliver, people had to both work in a range of different ways and with people they would not necessarily normally have worked with.

8.14 There were some reflections that greater flexibility in resourcing between the Games partners would have been beneficial, for instance, through a higher use of secondments between organisations. The research also found that the post Games transition experience for some staff could have worked better, and included better consideration of how best to use skills gained through the Games experience.

8.15 Similar findings were in a survey of Glasgow Council Family staff involved with the delivery of the Games conducted by the Glasgow Research Partnership in October 2014[93]. The majority of respondents (86%) viewed their Games time role as a positive experience with a range of benefits reported, from increased pride in the organisation (74% agreed) to increased willingness to take on challenges (69% agreed).

8.16 Evidence on the extent to which the Games impacted on organisational partnerships in Scotland is also available through evaluation of legacy programme activity – in particular, the evaluation of the Culture Programme. The previous chapter set out the key findings of the culture programme evaluation in terms of its audience reach and creation of new cultural works. It is clear from the Culture Programme evaluation that the scale of the programme was unprecedented in Scotland, and the programme was delivered through a large degree of collaboration and partnership at strategic and operational levels.

8.17 At the strategic level, the Glasgow 2014 Culture Programme was the first Commonwealth Games cultural programme to have dual host city and nation focus, and the first to be jointly delivered by the national and local authority public bodies for culture. The evaluation found this partnership approach was unique and worked. The relationship between Creative Scotland and Glasgow Life in particular was found to be particularly positive. Strong relationships built on trust have developed which are anticipated to continue in the future. Joint delivery of the Culture Programme by these bodies, rather than outsourcing the programme to an external curator, has resulted in the knowledge, skills, experience and capacity developed being retained within Scotland.

8.18 At the delivery level, 1,600 new partnerships were developed by projects in the Culture Programme, and the majority of these partnerships were with organisations outwith the culture sector: in education, in sport, in the community and voluntary sector and in health. Culture programme projects derived financial (in terms of leveraged match funding), artistic and organisational benefits from partnership. Notably, more than a quarter of projects identified sustained partnerships as a long term legacy benefit of their participation in the culture programme. Virtually all projects stated they would repeat their partnership and work with their new collaborators in the future.

8.19 Overall, the evaluators conclude that these developments in strategic and operational partnership have contributed to enhanced capacity and ambition across the culture sector in Scotland and constitute a step-change in how strategic culture partners in Scotland work together and engage with wider strategic stakeholders.

8.20 The evidence on partnership above focuses on some of the key high level partnership required to deliver the sporting event of the Games and the cultural events of a year-long culture programme. The delivery of the Games and related legacy programmes involved many more partnerships across many sectors and levels. Further evidence on these partnerships is available on the Assessing Legacy website.

Wider organisational legacy

8.21 The delivery of the Games and cultural programme was unprecedented for a major event delivery project in Scotland in terms of scale, complexity and numbers of organisations involved. Research with over 300 government and public body staff who worked on the Games found evidence of a human capital legacy from the Games in terms of increased skills, knowledge and experience[94].

8.22 The nature and breadth of experience staff gained while working on the Games was not necessarily available in other posts. The experience enabled people to acquire new skills and greater personal resilience and confidence. In most cases staff reflected on the experience as personally uplifting, rewarding and one which they will draw on, use and refer to for the rest of their careers. Working on such a high profile, visible and publically understood project gave a great sense of pride to many of those involved. The legacy of this for the individuals concerned is difficult to quantify, though likely to be significant in the long term.

8.23 The lessons learned by organisations involved in delivering the Games also have an international legacy dimension through the Transfer of Knowledge (ToK) process. Glasgow 2014 was the first Commonwealth Games to include ToKs from all Games Partners. Because all Games partners participated in the ToK process the information provided is now also a resource for Scotland for future major event planning. Because the Games was a success in terms of delivery, the usefulness of this material is likely to be higher.

8.24 To give a sense of the scale of the XX Commonwealth Games ToK: it contains over 125 ToK Reports from each Glasgow 2014 functional area and additional ToK documents from Glasgow City Council, Police Scotland, Transport Scotland and Scottish Government on how the Games were delivered. This amounts in total to over 3,000 documents about how to deliver a mega event such as the Games.

8.25 Other organisational legacies for Scotland and Glasgow include the systems and processes used during Games delivery which were enhanced, modified or retained in post Games environment. The delivery of the Games enabled an unprecedented, co-ordinated test of major infrastructure and services. In particular the XX Commonwealth Games enabled large scale stress testing of transport and other public services at a national level and city operations level in Glasgow. Such large scale stress tests are not normally possible by other methods. The Games therefore were probably the largest stress test of public services in Scotland since the Second World War.

8.26 For example, in terms of transport stress testing, more than 1,800 additional train services successfully ran from Glasgow Central alone during Games Time. ScotRail laid on the biggest train timetable ever seen in Scotland. There were around 700,000 journeys on Glasgow’s SPT Subway, of which 210,000 took advantage of free transport for Games ticket holders. The planning, experience and delivery of this volume of public and active travel has potential long term benefits for the public transport system, particularly where systems and processes are modified based on these experiences for use during business as usual, when the system comes under pressure, and during future major events.

8.27 Police Scotland, in their organisational lessons learned process, found there was a clear sense that organisational change can be accelerated when the police force is under operational delivery pressure. Police Scotland was formed in 2013 with the merger of all eight territorial police forces in Scotland. Delivering the Games became a critical issue for this new body and forced it to deal with many issues that otherwise may have been deferred. The Games also provided an opportunity for Police Scotland to test and build infrastructure and process in an accelerated manner. Police Scotland realised some positive organisational benefits, with staff working across previous Force boundaries.

8.28 In terms of sustainability, there are a range of delivery legacies from the XX Commonwealth Games. Glasgow 2014 was the first Commonwealth Games to achieve certification to ISO 20121: Event Sustainability Management Systems[95]. ISO 20121 provides ‘the framework for identifying the potentially negative social, economic and environmental impacts of events by removing or reducing them, and capitalizing on more positive impacts through improved planning and processes’.

8.29 As part of this, the OC developed environmental management plans for Games venues, implementing initiatives to minimise and recycle waste, improve resource efficiency, and working to ensure sustainability was embedded within the procurement process for the Games.

8.30 Games tickets came with the provision of funded travel on Glasgow’s public transport network. There was no spectator parking at venues. A modern fleet of low-emission temporary energy generators were used at the Games; and venues used mains electricity for energy provision where possible. All competition venues had bicycle parking facilities available outside the venue perimeter fence.

8.31 It is highly likely that future Games will adhere to these new sustainability standards, itself a legacy from this Games internationally. In addition, learning from the Games experiences will be used in future events in Scotland and particularly in Glasgow. As part of this, a refreshed Sustainable Events Guide for Scotland was produced by Zero Waste Scotland.[96] The sustainable legacy from the Games was highlighted in an exhibition “Showcasing Sustainability Exemplars” which ran at the Lighthouse in Glasgow between April and October 2014.

8.32 In terms of accessibility and inclusion the XX Commonwealth Games accessibility team provided comprehensive guidance, audits of venue and village plans, access to assistive technology[97] and mobility support services for spectators[98]. They also provided workforce training on accessibility and inclusion. The outcome of this, in terms of delivery legacy, includes a legacy for venues of improved accessibility; a comprehensive list of recommendations for future Commonwealth Games on accessibility and inclusion and knowledge which can be used for future major event planning in Scotland.

8.33 Finally, and wider than the venues and Athletes’ Village discussed in previous chapters, there is a physical asset legacy from Games on two fronts: Games related public realm enhancements and Games related assets distributed through a programme of asset dissolution.

8.34 The full extent of this physical asset legacy is too broad to list in detail here. For illustration, Games related public realm improvements in Glasgow included improved cycling and walking routes; footway improvements, improved lighting, resurfacing and additional greenspace.

8.35 Glasgow 2014 Ltd undertook a programme of asset dissolution post Games with the stated aim to ‘maximise legacy through distribution’. For example, Glasgow Housing Association received all furniture, fittings and equipment from the Athletes’ Village and other items from the Athletes’ Village were used for ‘starter packs’ by organisations that support homeless people. Games sports equipment was distributed by sportscotland through Active Schools and governing bodies to all 32 local authorities in Scotland. Medical equipment was also reused with some gifted to Scottish charities.


Email: Niamh O’Connor

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