The Olympics one year on - has the legacy improved Britain's construction industry?

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The anniversary of the London 2012 Olympics has been a time for reflection on the impact the event has had on various different industries. While the hospitality sector saw strong figures off the back of the Olympics, the construction sector didn't fare quite so well. Numbers show that the industry had been consistently shrinking for some time. Despite growth of 0.8 per cent in the final quarter of 2012, the first quarter of 2013 showed a 2.5 per cent fall.

This begs the question - were the Olympics the final nail in the coffin?

Any difference?
It's worth noting that billions of pounds were ploughed into hosting the Olympics across a number of different sectors and the construction sector is by no means a stable one.

With constantly changing numbers, it's hard to track the impact the Olympics actually had on the industry. Having been hit by the general economic downturn, it's likely that any improvement wouldn't be notable when compared to pre-financial crisis figures anyway.

Overspend
The original budget for the London Olympics of 2 billion was completely blown out of the water with the eventual spend of 9.3 billion anyway so recouping the additional costs will need to have been absorbed by one sector or another.

While this could have been down to bad project management, there is also the argument that it was worth the overspend to achieve something that would create so many future prospects for businesses across the UK.

With the Olympics having been such a success, many firms have managed to snag themselves further contracts worldwide, potentially boosting the construction sector.

Other factors
Of course, the Olympics was a huge event and certainly had far reaching effects on various industries in Britain but the taxpayer is still paying for it one year on. On top of that, the figures being thrown around by those in the know don't take into account natural increases in industries that would have occurred without the Olympic legacy so it's important not to forget these.

While the Olympic legacy may have certainly had an impact on the construction industry, it's not yet clear what the long-term effects are.
Certainly, people have shown an interest in taking up new sports on the back of the event but have they been encouraged to build new structures or contract companies to expand on their businesses?

It's hard to say, particularly with various other sectors still struggling to recover from the financial crisis.

It seems to be the case that while the Olympic legacy will certainly have made people sit up and pay attention, it didn't necessarily create the initial boosts in the various industries that played such a huge part in hosting the event. Perhaps next year this will be another story.

Guest blog by Lauren Sutton, an in-house writer for APM Accredited Provider Adept Knowledge.

Posted in Olympics
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Posted by Lauren Sutton on 29th Jul 2013

About the Author
I am a brand journalist working on behalf of a number of clients in the HR, training and service industries. Posts featured on the APM.org.uk site are written on behalf of oil, gas and construction project management training provider Adept Knowledge. Feel free to contact me on Twitter @laurens430.

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