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Sport as the Local Economic Game Changer

The great fanfare that greeted the awarding of the 2012 Olympics has given way to a few siren voices about the limited socio-economic legacy of this global event. Yet, identifying and measuring the socio-economic benefits from sport is complex and often not immediate. This occurs for a number of reasons, including:

  • The complex interactions between infrastructure, events, local participation and spillovers between different economic sectors; and how this may be assessed;
  • A tendency to investigate direct monetary benefits using a framework that underestimates the overall socio-economic contribution of sports;
  • The stress on a hierarchy of large international events and national centres of excellence tends to assume a trickle-down contribution, especially in regard to increased participation.
  • A tendency to focus on structure (infrastructure events, centres) rather than agency (transformation of localities through increased sports value-added; participation; social inclusion of marginal communities and enhanced overall community socio-economic well-being).

With the awarding of Milton Keynes as a venue for the 2015 World Cup these challenges now face the UK’s fastest growing sub-region. But where there are challenges there are opportunities, so that incorporating sport as a central component into an economic development strategy is crucial for the Milton Keynes City-Region.

This presentation addresses these issues in the context of the economic impact of sport based upon a study funded by the Higher Education Innovation Fund, through the Open University. The approach adopted is a comprehensive one that links the capacities and capabilities of this dynamic sub-region by demonstrating how sport can be the local economic game changer.

Dr Leslie Budd's presentation: Sport as the Local Economic Game Changer

Interview with Dr Leslie Budd, Reader in Social Enterprise and John Cove, Chief Executive, Milton Keynes Dons FC Sport and Education Trust

The Breakfast Briefings are a series of face-to-face events, as part of The Open University Business Network. These events aim to foster collaboration and create an opportunity to explore together the latest and best of business thinking. We understand business and want to help your business flourish by sharing our insights into leadership and management at this series of collaborative events.

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