Glasgow’s growing status as one of the world’s leading sporting cities and as Scotland’s sporting capital has been underlined in a major new independent research paper published today (Wednesday).
In a landmark report, commissioned by Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Life and sportscotland, research consultants Axiom found that sport is one of the most significant drivers of Glasgow’s economy helping create and sustain employment in the city – as well as contributing to health and community development. The Sport Sector in Glasgow report revealed that in 2010 sport was estimated as contributing £367.91million Gross Value Added (GVA) to the Glasgow economy.
The report reveals that sport plays a more important role in the Glasgow economy compared to its comparative contribution at a national level – being a larger employer in Glasgow and making a proportionately higher contribution to the city economy than at a national level. In 2010 an estimated 9,770 people were employed in the sport sector – 3.8% of the total employed in the city at that time.
Sport in Glasgow has also benefited from considerable levels of capital investment by the public sector, improving access to leisure and sporting facilities across the city. Since 1995 Glasgow City Council has spent over £300million building new and upgrading existing sports facilities including the Emirates Arena (£113million), Tollcross International Swimming Centre (£13.8million) and Scotstoun Stadium (£18million).
This investment has enabled Glasgow to win global recognition as a one of the top 10 sporting cities in the world. This growing status is reflected in the world-class sporting events Glasgow has secured including:
· 2012 UCI Track Cycling World Cup
· 2013 World Youth Netball Championships
· 2013 UCI Juniors Track World Championships
· 2014 Commonwealth Games
· 2015 IPC World Swimming Championships
· 2015 World Gymnastics Championships
While the report outlines that sport contributed £367.91million GVA to the Glasgow economy, the vast majority of which was generated locally, it also revealed that £114.02million of that income was generated from outwith the city boundaries.
The commercial sport sector, which includes spectator clubs including Celtic, Rangers, Partick Thistle and Glasgow Warriors and participation clubs (those with a paying membership) such as bowling clubs, golf clubs and tennis clubs, made the biggest contribution to the city economy.
In 2010 commercial sport comprised over half of sport’s economic contribution (56.9%) with a GVA of some £209.97million. Almost half of commercial sport’s income (48.3%) is generated by retailing, spectator clubs and participation clubs with retailing being the largest single contributor (25.5%).
Commercial sport was also the largest employer in the sports economy in Glasgow in 2010, employing nearly 8,000 people (82% of the sport sector’s total employment). Retailers, spectator clubs and participation clubs employed almost commercial sport’s entire workforce (97%), with retailers being the largest employer (53% of the workforce).
Councillor Gordon Matheson, the Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “Glasgow is one of the leading sporting cities on the world stage, regularly playing host to some of the world’s top sporting events. This hasn’t happened by chance and is thanks to our continued investment in world-class facilities such as the Emirates Arena and Tollcross International Swimming Centre.
“The construction of these facilities has allowed us to attract some of the best events in world sport to Glasgow, helping create and sustain employment opportunities in the sporting sector. We have to continue supporting employment in this sector and that is why projects such as the Commonwealth Apprenticeship Initiative and the Street League Employability Programme remain so vital.
“At the same time these facilities are also being used by local people on a daily basis, with attendances reaching record levels. Our commitment to sport will see us build on that in future years. The people of Glasgow are also continuing to show their love of sport by ensuring that the city’s major events programme hosts sell out event after sell out event. Through sport we are investing in Glasgow’s future.”
Stewart Harris, Chief Executive of sportscotland, said: “This research reveals the economic importance sport has in the City of Glasgow and also highlights the significant health and community benefits of participating in sport and being more physically active.
“Scotland is now a regular destination for world-class sporting events, and, as it prepares for next year’s Commonwealth Games, Glasgow’s facilities are first-rate. These excellent facilities, such as the Emirates arena and Tollcross International swimming Centre, will undoubtedly benefit Scotland’s high performance athletes but, crucially, they are also major assets which the people of Glasgow and further afield are able to use on a daily basis.
“By using Glasgow 2014 as a vehicle to accelerate the implementation of a world-class sporting system at every level and having 150 Community Sport Hubs in place right across Scotland by 2016, we are ensuring that all the people of Scotland are benefitting from hosting next year’s Commonwealth Games.”
The commercial non sport sector includes organisations which, although they do not directly provide a sport product, they supply to organisations that do. In 2010 this sector comprised of 112 organisations – with hotels making up the overwhelming majority of organisations (87.5%). It was the second largest contributor to the sport economy in Glasgow City, accounting for £100.8million of GVA (27.3% of the Glasgow sports economy).
The voluntary sector is also a key driver of the Glasgow sport economy. Voluntary organisations were estimated to have contributed £30million (8.1% of the total sport economy GVA). Much of this income comes in the form of grants and awards from central and local government and lottery funds.