Report: How can events help build connected, happy and thriving communities? (Spirit of 2012)

Report: How can events help build connected, happy and thriving communities?

Over the past decade, the UK has earned a reputation as a world leader in staging major events. Since the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, we have hosted two Commonwealth Games, two Jubilees, and three UK Cities of Culture, as well as numerous internationally acclaimed sporting events and cultural festivals, many that take place on an annual or biannual basis. There are also thousands of local events celebrated up and down the country each year, some of which are local interpretations of national activities; others, unique expressions of the places in which they are held.

These events can act as catalysts for wider change, with long-term social and economic impacts in the host places and profound benefits for the people who participate. However, this doesn’t happen automatically but requires a shared vision between hosts and organisers, focused on achieving specific outcomes, with the resource to deliver it over the long term. This inquiry was set up on the tenth anniversary of the London 2012 Games in order to learn the lessons of past events and to identify how we can capitalise on the power of events to facilitate and encourage wider social and economic change.

Whilst this Inquiry seeks to encourage and influence all event organisers to adopt our recommendations, we acknowledge that the events sector is funded and motivated in a variety of ways. Events which receive public funding or other forms of public sector or state support have a stronger responsibility to achieve social outcomes than purely commercial events.

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