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Value of the Olympic and Paralympic sports in UK rises to £25 billion

New research conducted to assess the combined effect of the Olympic and Paralympic sports to the UK economy has shown that their impact is now greater than ever at £25 billion.

Figures from a Sheffield Hallam University report into the economic importance of all Olympic and Paralympic sport activity in the UK has confirmed that its combined value has risen by £6 billion since research was last conducted – real-terms growth of 9%.

Based on 2017 data, the Gross Value Added (GVA) of all Olympic and Paralympic sport activity in the UK continued to account for more than half of the entire sporting economy and collectively is a larger contributor to the UK economy than agriculture, forestry and fishing.

The report from Sheffield Hallam University also found the Olympic and Paralympic sports (not including sports such as football, golf, rugby union and tennis, for which the Games are not considered to be the pinnacle of their sport) to:

Dame Katherine Grainger, Chair at UK Sport, said: “This report once again shows the huge value that the entire Olympic and Paralympic sector in the UK contributes to the economy of our country and what a wide-ranging impact it has not only on the sport industry itself but also jobs and consumer spending more widely.

“While we are aware of the challenges presented to all sport in the UK by the coronavirus pandemic, the report is a clear indication of the great impact that the Olympic and Paralympic Games and all of our athletes have on the nation. However, in launching our new strategy recently, we are making it clear that there is no room for complacency.

“We must build on our success to create the next exciting phase of high-performance sport. One where we work even more collaboratively and inclusively, where we keep winning but win well and do so in ways that will inspire more people and have a broader impact on our society.”

Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston said: “Over the past decade, one of Britain’s greatest success stories has been becoming an Olympic and Paralympic powerhouse, supported by funding from the Government.

“This report shows that in addition to inspiring the nation to greatness, our medal-winning athletes also add significant value to the economy through employment and investment.

“UK Sport now provides over £350m for 43 elite sports and I have no doubt this support will continue to drive up the added value Team GB and ParalympicsGB provides both at home and on the world stage.”

Professor Simon Shibli from Sheffield Hallam University said: “In the Government’s strategy for sport, Sporting Future, organisations are asked to consider not just how they contribute to the nation’s health or wellbeing, but to the economy as well.  UK Sport should therefore be applauded for showing the leadership to demonstrate the economic value of Olympic and Paralympic sports.  Our analysis shows that Olympic and Paralympic sports are a growing and resilient component of the sport industry and an excellent catalyst for employment.

“In a post-Brexit and post-Covid world, Olympic and Paralympic sports have the potential to entertain us and inspire us, whilst simultaneously contributing to our economic recovery and growth.”

To read the full report click here

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