With the economic climate causing headaches worldwide and unemployment reaching record heights, many Britons are looking forward to the London 2012 Olympic Games as a welcome diversion from real life. However, the Games may provide more than a distraction – they could also trigger the turnaround for the UK, especially in terms of commercial property opportunities.
The business opportunities arising from London 2012 are virtually limitless. With the exposure provided to find new business contacts and expand into new markets, it may prove to be the salvation of small companies struggling to keep afloat in these uncertain economic times. Also, UK companies may find the experience of showcasing their abilities on an international platform especially useful as they will be accessing around four billion potential customers through their involvement with the Olympic Games.
The advantages reaped by previous Olympic cities and their neighbouring areas are best demonstrated by the 2000 Sydney games, where over AUS$1 billion was generated to New South Wales businesses in contracts. This was furthered by neighbour state Queensland gaining AUS$150 million whilst working in partnership with the Olympic and Paralympic games.
However, it is not just the businesses of London that will feel the impact of the Olympics – plans to revamp the transportation industry within the city to cope with the influx of athletes, representatives and fans from all over the world will have an effect long outlasting the games themselves. City centre commuters should look forward to smoother running times across all areas of public transport and an increase in services such as buses and trains. Of course, during the Olympics it is expected to become a little crowded, especially on the underground services, but many commuters hope that the challenge of organising the transit of thousands of competitors and spectators will encourage the transport industry to continue improving once the games have ended.
According to experts, this will have a positive effect on the property prices, both residential and commercial, in the East London area. Since London won the bid to host the Olympic Games, residential property prices in the area surrounding the Olympic Park have risen by 11.9%, compared to a national growth of only 7.2% over the same period. It can be expected, then, that as the time for the Olympics grows closer, commercial property prices will mirror this trend.
In a report undertaken by Invest Thames Gateway, cities expert Greg Clark points out that the scale and pace of developments commissioned by the Olympic Games creates a major catalyst for business investment, due to the international interest in the event. He claims that “No single regeneration project can provide this.” Perhaps, then, the time to take the plunge and broaden the commercial property portfolios for small companies has never been better. With London, and by default, the whole of the United Kingdom under the spotlight from all areas of the globe, international interest and investments will boost the national economy, giving struggling businesses the aid they need to develop and improve.