Delivering a lasting legacy

Published on Thursday, 23 August 2012 09:22
Written by Jonathan Stephens

The summer of 2012 will long be remembered as a moment that brought the whole country together for a unique festival of sport, culture and nationwide celebration. But the real story of London 2012 is only just beginning

The success of the London 2012 Games has sent out a powerful message about this country. From the Queen's Diamond Jubilee to the Olympics to the Paralympics, Britain has demonstrated why it can afford to be every bit as confident about its future as it is proud of its past.

It's a success story that belongs to everyone: the athletes who came from every part of the country, as well as their coaches and families; the communities who turned out in their millions to cheer the Torch and support our Olympic and Paralympic heroes; the more than 70,000 incredible volunteers who gave up their time to make sure visitors to the UK got the warmest of welcomes.

But as well as being a shining example of what the whole country can achieve when we work together, it is also testament to a uniquely effective partnership between the public sector and private sector. From the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) that built the Park to the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) that staged the Games; from central government to local government and the GLA; from local communities and volunteers to UK plc.

And it has provided a unique showcase for public sector achievement and public service values. None of this would have been possible without the bedrock of support provided by Government:

-          DCMS as lead Government department leading the work of up to 19 other departments providing the services and support essential to make the Games a success.

-          The ODA delivering one of Europe's largest construction projects on time and on budget;

-          The Olympic Park providing a living demonstration of effective public procurement and management, breaking new ground in everything from the UK's largest ever soil washing operation (2m tonnes) to the lightest ever Olympic Stadium (10,000 tonnes);

-          The financial management by DCMS that meant we could announce before the Games that we were on track to deliver the Games project almost half a billion pounds under budget;

-          The world-class programme and project management that allowed us to deliver every aspect of this country's biggest peacetime logistical exercise smoothly and effectively – from transport and policing to security, borders and dignitary management;

-          The advanced contingency plans that we put in place that meant we were able to respond flexibly and effectively to emerging challenges such as security staffing;

-          The nationwide Torch preparations that saw us deliver planning workshops to around 250 local authorities and issue planning guidance to all host authorities;

-          The hundreds of civil servants who didn't take a summer holiday this year, stepping up to new roles, forging new partnerships and going the extra mile to turn a good Games into a great Games;

-          The design, planning and delivery of the government's largest ever campaign to promote the UK abroad and secure a £13bn economic boost from the Games – the "GREAT" campaign;

-          The effective management of the Lottery to transform the way we support our elite athletes and ensure that the London goldrush can continue in Rio.

For most people the Olympics and Paralympics have been about a single summer of sport and celebration. But for the staff in DCMS, as well as for those in nearly 20 other government departments who have worked together on different aspects of the Games, they have been the culmination of a decade of hard work and dedication.

And it doesn't stop here. Right from the start, these Games were designed as much around what would happen afterwards as what would happen in 2012 itself. We have put the foundations of a lasting legacy of nationwide benefits – sporting, social, and economic –firmly in place, and we will continue our work in the years ahead to make sure that the whole country will keep seeing those benefits for decades to come.

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