Commonwealth Games - Economic benefit?

Posted by Charlie Johnston

The Commonwealth Games started with a real bang last night. It was great to see Glasgow being showcased to over a 1bn viewers across the Commonwealth. Now the real competition has begun, people are already talking about the legacy of the games and the benefits it could bring. Certainly on reflection in the summer of 2012 people in London had a real spring in their step both during and after the games. However if you went beyond the boundaries of the M25 that sense of momentum dried up. It remains to be seen if Glasgow creates broader benefits by hosting a successful games. 

As I understand, it is always difficult to measure what benefit a games can bring to an economy outwith the immediate geographic footprint of the events and games infrastructure. The majority of my clients are not involved in the delivery of it, so for them it is BAU. However, what I hope will come from it is that whatever the political climate, Scotland will continue to be a place to do business. If there is a pervcieved bounce which benefits the economy then fantastic but it should not be a given.  A legacy can not forced and the Games should be used as a political football which is a concern of alot of commentators.

All organisations want to be ble to operate both on their door step but also internationally. The announcement by one oil client of old today that they are creating a new HQ in Aberdeen for their UK business has nothing to do the games but rather it demonstrates that good companies are still keen to operate out of Scotland. That decision would have been taken on the back of their order book and therefore it can dangerous to assume that economic opportunities will emerge by magic.

The success in the pursuit of medals by all the home nations can surely inspire others to enhance the broader socio-economic fabric of a nation. How to measure that is difficult to gauge, but atleast it will give you a spring in your step on your way to work in the morning.


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