‘Summer like no other’ reaches grand finale with parade to celebrate historic success of TeamGB and ParalympicsGB.
As the curtain closes on a record-breaking Paralympics, the Mayor Boris Johnson has hailed London’s ‘Golden Games’, pledging to secure an enduring legacy for the city. The Mayor also paid tribute to the army of workers and volunteers who worked to deliver the Games, which has exceeded expectations on all fronts.
London has succeeded in its aim to stage a ‘summer like no other’ hosting the world’s top athletes, millions of visitors, attracting unprecedented global TV audiences and today staging a parade to celebrate the outstanding performances of TeamGB and ParalympicsGB.
An investment of £6.5billion into transport has kept the city moving with record numbers using the network, including 62 million journeys made on the Tube over the Olympics and initial figures showing ridership during the Paralympics up by over 18 per cent compared to the previous year. Records were smashed on the Docklands Light Railway and Barclays cycle hire scheme, with the capital’s brand new Emirates Air Line hitting its millionth passenger milestone. Traffic was down 15 per cent during the Games, with drivers heeding advice about avoiding central London and other strategic routes.
A widely acknowledged highlight of the Games has been the tens of thousands strong army of volunteers recruited to help people get to their destinations and greeted with a warm welcome. This has created a bank of community-minded Londoners that the Mayor is keen to recruit for future volunteering roles for the benefit of the city.
An estimated one million people stayed in London for the Olympics, joined by 5.5m day trippers. The Paralympics also smashed previous attendance records, selling 2.7million tickets with around a quarter of a million of these sold to overseas guests. This has helped put London on track for another record year for tourism. Just as importantly, billions of people have been watching the Games on TV, seeing what London has to offer. Visit London's website has already seen a 60 per cent increase in traffic. To seize the momentum generated by this exposure, the Mayor will next month launch a new global tourism campaign with the aim of playing back the iconic images, sights and sounds from Games-time to attract potential visitors keen for a taste of the 2012 Olympic city.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: ‘London’s Games have proven to be a mind-boggling success which has broadcast to the world that we are dynamic city crammed with confidence, talent and opportunity. Those who griped and groaned over our ability to stage this sporting juggernaut have been resolutely smited by the relentlessly optimistic, 'can-do' mood that has swept over our nation.
‘The Olympic and Paralympic Games has taken years in the planning and there is a dedicated cast of thousands to offer our gratitude and without whom this glorious summer would not have been possible. This includes those who kept London working and a huge army of community-spirited volunteers. We must also pay tribute to our fantastic police and emergency services, the Armed Forces and security personnel, Transport for London staff and all transport workers.
‘The hard work does not end here. London is already reaping the benefits of the multi-billion investment into new infrastructure that has ensured the smooth delivery of these golden Games. Capitalising on this once in a generation event has been at the heart of our planning from the outset and so my priority remains that the glories of this historic summer do not fade, instead transmuting into a fruitful legacy that will underpin this city’s economic vibrancy for decades to come.’
Olympics Minister Hugh Robertson, said: 'London 2012 has been a fantastic Games and the whole country should feel immensely proud of what has been achieved. Quite rightly our glorious athletes have taken centre stage thanks to their incredible achievements, but we should also pay tribute to the thousands of torch bearers, volunteers and other unsung heroes who have all played their part. The closing ceremony may draw the curtain on the Games but we are determined to deliver a genuine and lasting legacy from London 2012.'
The elite sport on London’s doorstep has proved infectious with grassroots sports programmes seeing a surge in interest. Funded by the Mayor, the Parkrun programme is now attracting well over 20,000 runners per week and the Run! community athletics programme has seen 12,373 new participants since the start of the Games. London's athletics clubs are seeing a greater than 25 per cent increase in membership enquiries. The Mayor is doing his bit to further capitalise on this surge in interest by committing a further £7m for investment in the years ahead. During the Games, the Mayor launched RideLondon, a two day world class festival of cycling next year to feature a series of events for amateur, club and world elite cyclists. Thanks to the Mayor, 125,000 tickets were given to London’s school children to enjoy the Games at no cost, helping to inspire the next generation. In addition, 1,100 Paralympics tickets were given out to children and volunteers from athletics clubs across the city and through the London Legacy Development Corporation, a further 10,000 Londoners in host boroughs won tickets to the Paralympics.
The Mayor has been using Games-time to bang the drum for London to investors who were also in town for the sport. Through the Mayor’s hosting programme - arranged by the Mayor's promotional and economic development organisation London & Partners - nearly 200 international business leaders have been shown the huge opportunities on offer. From this, 88 investment leads have already been generated and 70 international businesses are looking to establish or grow their London presence within the next 18 months. Business engagement through the Mayor's programme, before, during and in the next 3 years after the Games is expected to create 10,000 jobs in London. One investor in attendance expressed strong interest in investing in the development of Crystal Palace, which alone could deliver thousands of jobs. A further 5,000 people have attended London House, a business marketing and networking hub at City Hall.
The record influx and movement of people coming into the capital over the summer has seen solid economic returns across the capital, as the West End retail sector expected to see £250 million pour in on the back of the Games, boosting already high confidence in an area where 50 new store openings are planned in the coming months. In the first week of the Olympics, Visa’s spend tracker showed increased transactions up nearly 20 per cent in London’s restaurants and almost 25 per cent in the capital’s nightclubs whilst theatre and other ticket sales were boosted by 114 per cent.
London has created the definitive blueprint for delivering both a Games on time and on budget but also one focused firmly on long-term legacy. The city has secured the future of six out of the eight venues on the Olympic Park - something that had never been achieved before – with serious and credible plans on the table for the Olympic Stadium and the Press and Broadcast Centre. The city’s ability to host elite sporting events is firmly established with international events already booked including the Athletics World Championships in 2017 and live bids for even more, including the 2016 Track Cycling World Championships. The city’s legacy stretches far beyond sport, with the creation of a new residential district and a world class visitor destination creating a major new cog in the engine of the city.
With the Paralympics returning to its birthplace, London has also raised the bar for future host cities, not least in having delivered sell-out venues for the first time ever. The city’s accessibility legacy includes a set of long-term improvements including on the transport network and in the public realm. Through the London Legacy Development Corporation, the Mayor has pledged £2m to establish an annual festival of disability sport on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, creating new sporting, leisure and employment opportunities. The design of the Park has already raised the bar for inclusive design with its new homes, public spaces and sporting venues.
Notes to Editors
During the 2012 Games the Tube, DLR and London Overground carried more people than at any other time in their respective histories.
62 million journeys were made on the Tube - up more than 30 per cent on normal levels, and the DLR and London Overground carried record numbers of passengers.
The Emirates Air Line has carried more than 1 million people since it was first launched just ahead of the Games.
Barclays cycle hire saw one million hires in July.
Around one third of regular passengers changed their travel behaviour during both the Olympics and Paralympics with traffic down in central London by 15 per cent during the Olympics and 5-10 per cent during the Paralympics.
During the Olympics 40 per cent of Games lanes were typically in operation each day whilst during the Paralympics only 30 per cent were needed.
Team London Ambassadors
8,000 Team London Ambassadors were recruited to offer support, advice and directions to millions of people during the Olympic and Paralympic Games. In total, the Ambassadors have delivered more than 200,000 hours of volunteering.
Since 2008, the Mayor's Team London programme have galvanised tens of thousands of Londoners into action and Team London is now seeking to encourage an additional 10,000 volunteers by May 2012.
Please visit www.london.gov.uk/teamlondon for more information.
Mayor of London Presents
The Mayor of London is supporting a huge programme of free events and cultural activities to add to the excitement of 2012. Working with outstanding international artists and world-class cultural organisations this unprecedented Mayor of London Presents programme is taking place in every corner of the capital to add to and complement the London 2012 Festival.
As well as Parade: Our Greatest Team, it includes Secrets: Hidden London, with artists and performers transforming hidden and lesser known locations; Showtime, the largest outdoor arts festival ever seen in the capital, with dozens of electrifying artists from the UK and abroad coming to every borough, in high streets, parks and town centres; and Surprises bringing pop-up performances and once in a lifetime experiences to locations familiar and unusual, above your heads and atop landmark buildings.
Parade: Our Greatest Team
The British athletes competing in the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games are being honoured with a parade through the streets of the capital today.
Called Our Greatest Team and bringing together Team GB and Paralympics GB athletes, up to 700 Team GB and ParalympicsGB athletes, including over ninety percent of medal winners, are taking part in the parade.
BT London Live
Outside the London 2012 venues, over 1.2 million people watched the Games on big screens at London’s Live Sites, located at Victoria Park, Hyde Park and Trafalgar Square.
BT London Live allowed Londoners and visitors to the capital to watch all of the sporting action on giant, state of the art screens, as well as live music and entertainment from some of the UK’s top artists and performers.
Sporting legacy programme
Over the past three years the Mayor of London’s sports legacy programme has overseen an investment of over £40m into community sport in the capital.
Many of the projects that the Mayor has invested in are reporting that they have experienced a considerable increase in demand for their services since the 2012 Games began.
The ‘Run!’ community athletics project has reported that they have seen more than 12,373 people attend sessions and events they have organised since the start of the Games.
RideLondon will allow those inspired during the Games to get involved in cycling whilst allowing the world’s greatest cyclists to compete in front of national and international audiences.
This flagship event forms part of the Mayor and TfL’s cycling programme.
Registration for RideLondon is open. Go to www.RideLondon.co.uk and sign up to what promises to be one of the most exciting events to hit the streets of London next year.
The Mayor’s ambitious business engagement programme targeted key international investors and business people through a range of events and meetings, including through City Hall converted to London House, showing why the capital is the number one place in which to invest and grow a business.
London House held in partnership with EDF has hosted over 5,000 people and has created huge opportunities to attract investment into the city creating jobs and growth.
Gift of the Games
The Mayor of London has launched a new campaign called Gift of the Games, highlighting the many benefits of hosting the 2012 Games - this is running online and on the transport network.
For more information about the Gift of the Games, go to www.london.gov.uk/gifts
London Media Centre
Over 8,600 UK & international media registered to the London Media Centre venue from 102 countries, with 600 from China alone.
The organisation of the London Media Centre was coordinated by London & Partners – the official promotional agency for London, the Greater London Authority, VisitBritain, Transport for London (TfL), Film London and the Government Olympic Executive (GOE), which is part of the DCMS.
For more information on the LMC partners go to: http://londonmediacentre.synapticdigital.com/About-Us
Creating a lasting legacy for London
London is more advanced than any other city in advancing legacy plans and has secured the future of six out of the eight venues on the Olympic Park - with serious and credible plans on the table for the Olympic Stadium and the Press and Broadcast Centre.
The overall legacy on the Park will create up to 8,000 permanent jobs on the park by 2030 plus 2,500 temporary construction jobs.
Five new neighbourhoods will be developed over 20 years, with 3 schools, 9 nurseries, 3 health centres and 29 playgrounds.
Up to 8,000 new homes will be built in addition to the 2,800 homes in the athletes’ village. There target is to secure 35% affordable housing.
After the Games, the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) will begin a £300m construction project to transform the Olympic site into the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
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