Olympic and Paralympic Games 2012: Legacy - Culture, Media and Sport Committee Contents

Written evidence submitted by the Host Boroughs Unit


  1.1  The Strategic Regeneration Framework (SRF), published in December 2009, is the Olympic legacy strategy of the five host boroughs which will ensure real, significant and lasting change.

  1.2  The host boroughs—Greenwich, Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest—are proud supporters of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. They are achieving good progress in improving the lives of their residents but entrenched structural disadvantages remain.

  1.3  The legacy vision of the host boroughs goes far beyond sport. It is that of convergence: that within 20 years, the communities who host the 2012 Games will have the same social and economic chances as their neighbours across London.

  1.4  The SRF is an expression of the host boroughs' determination to use the 2012 Games as a catalyst for radical socio-economic and physical regeneration. Delivery of the Games is not sufficient in itself to achieve this level of transformation. The ambition and commitment must be embedded in all tiers of government and across all public, private, voluntary and community sector organisations working in the sub region.

  1.5  The SRF outlines measurable indicators for the social and economic regeneration of the host borough communities resulting from investment in the Olympics. Sport and culture are included as part of the overall approach.

  1.6  Sub regional working in the host boroughs is a direct result of hosting the Olympics. Strong local partnerships will be vital and need to be supported in order to achieve the SRF outcomes.

  1.7  The SRF was agreed by the Mayor of London, Olympics Minister, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and the host borough leaders and Mayors at the meeting of the Olympic Park Regeneration Steering Group in October 2009.

  1.8  The principle of convergence and the Olympic-led regeneration of east London were included in the Mayor of London's draft London Plan, published in October 2009.

  1.9  The sub region will increasingly offer national and regional government a new and more relevant framework for developing policies focused on the achievement of socio-economic convergence.

  1.10  The SRF summary document, which includes detail on indicators, outcomes and action, has been provided with this submission.[23]


  2.1  We are proud supporters of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and our residents are determined to do all that they can to help host a successful Games in 2012. However, it is our job to set out a legacy vision for the area which goes beyond this sporting occasion.

  2.2  The place we call home is one of the most culturally vibrant and dynamic areas of the country. Yet the scale of poverty and deprivation experienced by our London sub region is an embarrassing, though often hidden, reality of life in our nation's capital. The social outcomes that many residents experience in the host borough area are far worse than that of our London neighbours.

  2.3  If you are one of the 1.25 million residents in the host borough area you are less likely to do well at school, get a good job, earn a living wage or feel you live in a good place than residents in any other area of London or the UK. Unfortunately, you're more likely to live in a family which is in receipt of benefits, be the victim of violent crime, suffer from obesity in childhood and die early.

  2.4  Our vision for an Olympic legacy is that within 20 years the residents who will host the world's biggest event will enjoy the same social and economic chances as their neighbours across London. This will not be easy to achieve. Not only will a century of social decline have to be halted and turned around, but the pace of change and improvement will need to be immense.

  2.5  Achieving our vision for the area and reducing the inequalities which hold back our boroughs will not just benefit families in the host boroughs. The whole of London and the national economy will also benefit through increased tax levies, a lower benefits bill and a new economic powerhouse.

  2.6  We have come together to work on the Strategic Regeneration Framework as a direct result of hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games. We believe that we are collectively responsible for ensuring a better future for our boroughs and the people who live in them. We know that we can achieve more by working together, and in partnership with others.

    — Sir Robin Wales, Mayor of Newham & Chair of the Host Boroughs Joint Committee

    — Cllr Chris Roberts, Leader of Greenwich

    — Jules Pipe, Mayor of Hackney

    — Cllr Lutfur Rahman, Leader of Tower Hamlets

    — Cllr Chris Robbins, Leader of Waltham Forest


  3.1  The Strategic Regeneration Framework (SRF) brings together the regeneration of the physical area of the host boroughs and the socio-economic regeneration of the communities who live within it. It outlines how the Olympics can be used as a catalyst for regeneration across the host boroughs area.

  3.2  The five host boroughs account for the greatest cluster of deprivation in England and Wales. Therefore, the SRF has as its organising principle that over a 20-year period, conditions for the people who live in the host boroughs will improve to the point where they can enjoy the same social and economic conditions as Londoners as a whole. This is the principle of convergence.

  3.3  Due to the demography of the area, it is likely that in order to reach its goals, the SRF will have to widen the opportunities available to some of the most disadvantaged and hardest to reach groups in the boroughs.

  3.4  The SRF has been approved as a basis for the legacy regeneration of the host boroughs by the Secretary of State for Communities, the Minister for the Olympics, the Mayor of London and the Mayors and Leaders of the host boroughs. That approval extends to the agreement of the inclusion of the principle of convergence in the relevant planning and policy development of local and regional government and the relevant activities of national Government and the active support of officials at all levels to assist in the implementation of the SRF.

  3.5  The London host borough sub region could become an area of economic and social opportunity within the next two decades. If this opportunity is realised, then the sub region will make a significant contribution to the London economy, and remove longstanding inefficiencies related to high levels of economic inactivity and exclusion.

  3.6  The Games and physical transformation of the Lea Valley are vital catalysts to that process, but they are not enough on their own. To fully realise this opportunity will require a concerted and sustained effort from the public and private sector and local, regional and national partners.


  4.1  The aim is that in the next 20 years, residents in the host boroughs will equal the London average in a range of the life indicators which you would expect to find in a successful community:

    — employment rates will increase to the London average;

    — average incomes in the bottom two fifths of earners in the host borough area will be increased to the London average;

    — young people in the host borough area will have improved GCSE results to at least the London average;

    — host borough 11 year olds will have at least the same educational attainment as the London average;

    — the number of families in receipt of benefits in the host boroughs area will fall to no more than the London average;

    — the rate of violent crime will continue to fall and reflect the London average; and

    — residents in the host boroughs area, particularly men, will have increased life expectancy to the London average.

  4.2  The challenge for improvement is immense—in many areas the host boroughs will have to improve at two or three times the average London improvement rate.

  4.3  Seven outcomes have been identified that will need to be achieved to address deprivation and meet the convergence objective:

    (i) creating a coherent and high quality city within a world city region;

    (ii) improving educational attainment, skills and raising aspirations;

    (iii) reducing worklessness, benefit dependency and child poverty;

    (iv) homes for all;

    (v) enhancing health and wellbeing;

    (vi) reduce serious crime rates and anti social behaviour; and

    (vii) maximising the sports legacy and increasing participation.

  4.4  These indicators and outcomes provide measurable targets that will enable progress to be effectively monitored.


  5.1  The 2012 Games and Olympic Park legacy bring the needs of the host boroughs into sharp focus, and through the promise of legacy benefits for communities, create the opportunity to tackle the physical and social deprivation that characterises the sub region.

  5.2  The Games will bring direct benefits to the host boroughs and in some areas the impact of these benefits are already being seen:

  5.3  The physical regeneration of the Lea Valley has enabled the adjacent host boroughs to explore how the Olympic Park will act as a catalyst to much-needed and better quality development. This will bring considerable improvement to the neighbouring, areas which are often run down.

  5.4  The infrastructure which will service the Games is already transforming the host borough public realm and transport network. These developments will help boost the economy of the whole host borough area.

  5.5  The construction of the Olympic Park has brought training, job and contract benefits to local businesses and local people.

  5.6  The creation of housing, social and educational infrastructure within the Olympic Park will help to meet the housing needs of the host borough areas and create educational and health opportunities for residents of adjoining areas.

  5.7  The sporting facilities on the Park and the 2012 Games themselves have already created a platform within the host boroughs for a lasting sporting legacy for local communities.

  5.8  The spirit of the Olympic and Paralympic Games is being seized as partners work together to deliver cultural, sports and volunteering programmes which promote the active engagement of residents and build community cohesion.

  5.9  After the Games, the Park will become a focus of sporting and social activity for the people of the four host boroughs to the north of the Thames. These facilities did not previously exist in the area, and will enable residents to make better use of the recreational facilities of the Lea Valley.

  5.10  The scale of the Olympic Park development, and the holding of the Games in the Park, at Excel, Woolwich, O2 and Greenwich Park, represents a very important symbol of the renaissance taking place in east and south-east London. The Olympics creates an opportunity for significant change in the ambition and aspiration of communities in the host boroughs.

  5.11  The host boroughs are already feeling the benefits to the visitor economy arising from the planning for and hosting of the 2012 Games. These benefits are expected to rise in the period between 2009 and 2012 and will become an important and sustainable part of the host borough economy.

  5.12  There is evidence that the reputational benefit of the Olympics after 2012 will be of substantial assistance in the marketing of the Olympic Park and its fringe areas.


  6.1  The SRF will work by improving the coordination and delivery of socio-economic interventions linked to the Olympic Games legacy. The SRF will provide sub-regional strategic leadership to address barriers to improvement, and harness the opportunities available through the sub region's improved connectivity, housing offer, public realm and economic growth.

  6.2  The SRF needs to influence all aspects of the regeneration of the host borough sub region over a 20-year period. It therefore requires a flexible and iterative approach, combined with firm objectives and clear outcomes for the community.

  6.3  The SRF does not rely on asking for increased funding. It will work by adding value in:

    — more strategic planning and delivery;

    — building links between traditionally separate programme areas where an integrated approach offers significant net gains, such as health and housing; and

    — realising opportunities which have lacked a clear champion to take them forward.


  7.1  The most overwhelming challenge that the host borough area faces is the scale of its disadvantage, compared with the rest of London and the country.

  7.2  On almost every indicator available, the fate of families and communities living in the host boroughs is on average worse than other communities in London.

    — 64.2% of the population are employed in the sub region compared with 70.4% in London, which equates to 77,000 fewer people in employment in the host boroughs;

    — overcrowding varies from 18% to 38% of households in the five boroughs against a London average of under 7%;

    — there are low levels of adult skills compared to the London average, with 17.6% of adults in the host boroughs having no qualifications, compared to 11.6% in London (this gap equates to 67,000 more people with no qualifications);

    — there is almost an 8% gap in GCSE attainment from the London average;

    — an extra 15 people per 100,000 population die prematurely in the host boroughs than in London overall; and

    — one in four children are classified as obese by Year Six, above the London average.

  7.3  Without the organising principle of convergence, the scale of progress and development will not automatically bring economic benefits to residents in the area. Canary Wharf is an example of this. Based within the host boroughs area, it has created 10s of thousands of jobs, and while a proportion of local residents have accessed employment, Tower Hamlets continues to have an employment rate of around only 61.7% of its working age population.

  7.4  The host boroughs are home to approximately a sixth of London's total population—twice the population of Glasgow and three times the population of Manchester. Forecasts by Greater London Authority (GLA) Economics suggest that the population of the host boroughs will increase more rapidly than in any other part of London. Over twenty years, the GLA predicts a population increase of 260,000 people in these boroughs, equivalent of a whole new borough the size of Newham.

  7.5  A significant factor in the demographics of the host borough area is the high rate of churn. The host boroughs experience very high levels of inward migration of poor and deprived families. The constant flow of transient populations is a particular challenge in the creation of sustainable communities and tackling this problem on a pan-London basis will be a significant factor in achieving the SRF outcomes.


  8.1  A strong and coherent sub-regional partnership is essential to deliver a lasting legacy. The SRF aims to enhance strategic partnership across the five boroughs, recognising the breadth of work underway through the Local Strategic Partnerships to achieve their Local Area Agreement priority outcomes.

  8.2  In many cases, the sub-regional partnerships resulting from the SRF are entirely new. Their formation has highlighted the potential for sub-regional partnership working, and a commitment to a shared multi-agency approach to achieve convergence on the seven priority indicators of change.

  8.3  The combination of a sub-regional approach and the host boroughs partnership has also developed a Multi Area Agreement that includes a sub-regional investment strategy approach for worklessness and housing.

  8.4  The relationship between the five host boroughs is formalised in the establishment of a Statutory Joint Committee, unique in London, which oversees the five boroughs mutual interests in the Olympics, the MAA, and the SRF.


  9.1  The SRF is a long-term project requiring sustained commitment from all levels of government and all partners operating in the host borough area. This requires a robust governance structure providing for:

    — a shared commitment to long-term outcomes;

    — a shared commitment to working in partnership to achieve those outcomes;

    — an effective system for monitoring progress and revising plans;

    — a mutual accountability of each partner to all others;

    — a consistent and enduring political commitment and engagement at national, regional and local level; and

    — an effective long-term system for engaging and involving communities, the private and the third sector.

  9.2  The newly created East London Legacy Board (ELLB) has been charged with supporting the implementation of SRF and brings together lead officials from the host boroughs, the Olympic Park Legacy Company and representatives of central and regional government. The ELLB has direct accountability to the Olympic Park Regeneration Steering Group and links to national legacy arrangements.


  10.1  This first stage of the SRF explains the context, defines the approach to the physical regeneration of the sub region, sets the outcome targets for improvement in key deprivation indicators, and outlines the next steps for all partners towards their achievement. It will be followed this year by a second stage which sets out further legacy benefits, the economic prospects for the sub region, and the detail of the first five-year action plan.

  10.2  The host boroughs believe that the regeneration of their area can and should bring benefits to the areas that surround them. They aim to:

    — consult with relevant neighbouring areas that may be affected by developments in the host boroughs;

    — develop host borough plans in a manner that allows benefits to be spread over a wider area; and

    — recognise interlocking sub-regional opportunities.


  11.1  The SRF contains an indicator on sports participation. By 2015, the host boroughs will achieve 15,000 more adults taking a healthy level of physical activity, 25,000 adults currently taking no physical activity taking some exercise each week, and approximately 48,000 more children participating in high quality school sport.

  11.2  This will be achieved through implementing sports plans across the five boroughs, allied to Olympic venues, which foster talent, cater for performance athletes, and encourage sports participation by residents of all ages, income levels and backgrounds. Sport and physical activities will also be used to build community cohesion and ensure young people chose positive pathways; and the boroughs will develop and promote the sports and visitor offer to attract national and international events.

  11.3  The host boroughs are home to the largest cultural quarter in Europe. Over 12,000 artists are based in the area alongside a growing number of leading creative companies and cultural institutions, iconic arts venues and an extraordinary range of communities.

  11.4  The boroughs are working together to deliver an annual arts festival, CREATE, with leading venues and cultural organisations. The aim is to develop the UK's next major international arts festival—a legacy that will have a lasting impact on the cultural life of London and the UK. The CREATE partnership extends to developing a range of year-round arts activity, arts policy and partnership development.

  11.5  CREATE 09 attracted audiences of over 822,000 with opportunities for 220,000 to actively participate in events and contributed £15m to the east London economy. Nearly £600,000 in new funding was secured by the Host Boroughs Unit Culture team to support the festival.

February 2010

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