Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games legacy: final evaluation report April 2018

This evaluation report of the Commonwealth Games 2014 legacy summarises previous findings and sets out new findings since the last report in 2015.

Chapter 1: Background and Introduction

The XX Commonwealth Games was held in Glasgow between the 23 July and 3 August 2014. It was the largest multi-sport and cultural event ever held in Scotland. Approximately 7,000 athletes and team officials, representing 71 nations and territories from across the Commonwealth, took part. The sporting competition covered 17 sports across 261 medal events. This included 22 medal events across five para-sports. This was the largest integrated para-sport programme of any Commonwealth Games to date.

Glasgow won the bid to host the XX Commonwealth Games in 2007. A partnership of Scottish Government ( SG), Glasgow City Council ( GCC), Commonwealth Games Scotland ( CGS) and the Glasgow 2014 Organising Committee (Glasgow 2014 Ltd) led the delivery of the Games. The Games were widely considered successfully delivered. The Commonwealth Games Federation Chief Executive described Glasgow 2014 as " the standout Games in the history of the movement".

The Games were delivered within a budget of £543 million. The SG and GCC provided £425 million towards the overall cost of the Games. The remaining costs were met by £118 million income from ticket sales, sponsorship and other commercial sources. Ticket sales exceeded initial targets. Approximately 1.3 million tickets were sold, representing 98% of all tickets available for sale. Two-thirds of tickets were priced at £25 or under. More information about the budget and spending are in Audit Scotland's third report on the Games. [1]


Since the original bid in 2007, partners have emphasised their desire to leverage the best possible social and economic benefit from the Games. These benefits are often collectively described as 'legacy'. In 2009, the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council ( GCC) published legacy plans setting out the outcomes partners hoped to contribute to through the Games and associated legacy programmes. [2], [3] Glasgow City Council and partners also undertook a health impact assessment in 2012 which made a number of recommendations which aimed ensure that the health and wellbeing of Glasgow's people could be improved through the Games. [4]

The SG, GCC and partners committed to a 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. A Games Legacy Evaluation Working Group ( GLEWG) was established in January 2012 to design and deliver the evaluation. The evaluation had 6 key questions which are addressed in subsequent chapters of this report, namely:

What effect have the Games had on:

  • the economy, businesses, employment, training and volunteering? ( Chapter 3)
  • the lives of the community in the area of Glasgow's East End most directly affected? ( Chapter 4)
  • sports infrastructure, sports participation and physical activity? ( Chapter 5)
  • civic pride and international reputation? ( Chapter 6)
  • the cultural sector and cultural engagement? ( Chapter 7)
  • partnership working between agencies and sectors? (Chapters 2 and 8)

Legacy evaluation findings and evidence reviews have already been extensively used by SG and partners for legacy planning. The evaluation won the UK Civil Service Award in 2015 for Analysis and Use of evidence and its impact on policy making [5] . The earlier reports are:

Questions, methods and baseline (2012)
Pre-Games Report (2014)
Post-Games Report (2015)
Legacy evidence review (2014)
Updated Legacy evidence review (2015)

This report provides a final summary. It recaps on the main findings in the above publications, updates the substantial previous work (where possible) and sets out some key lessons for future hosts. The additional evidence presented in this report comes from the following main sources:

  • Updates provide by a number of legacy partners (3 years on) that look again at the use of infrastructure and describe the lessons they have taken into future events planning, including the 2018 European Championships. [6]
  • A small number of further research studies and evaluations that have been finalised in the period since the last publication in 2015.
  • The GoWell East study – further results from the long-term community study including the third survey sweep of adult householders and a survey and qualitative study of the new residents in the former Athletes' Village. All GoWell East publications are available at:

This report is the fourth and final of the planned series. As time passes it is more challenging to attribute any effects of Glasgow 2014 investment and activity, particularly given the expectation that legacy activity is increasingly mainstreamed into partners' business as usual practices. Any further Glasgow 2014 legacy impacts will be captured within the evaluation framework and reporting outputs of the Glasgow Events Strategy. This Strategy, which is currently under development, is founded in much learning from the Glasgow 2014 experience.


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