Fireworks at the Olympic Park

Relighting the torch: securing the Olympic legacy

Date published: 
08 November 2017

“Within 20 years, the communities which host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will enjoy the same social and economic chances as their neighbours across London.”

Improving the life chances of local people in east London played an important role in London winning the 2012 Olympic bid.

The prospects of people living in the Olympic host boroughs (Barking & Dagenham, Greenwich, Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest), were meant to improve, to ‘converge’, with the London average over a 20 year period.

So, five years on, how have the life chances and deprivation levels of the host communities changed? The latest statistics show a mixed bag of progress.

Key facts

  • The gap in many quality of life indicators between the six host boroughs and the rest of London has not been closed.
  • The gap in terms of sporting or physical activity rates has deteriorated.
  • The earnings gap in 2015 is greater than it was in 2009.
  • Tower Hamlets, Barking and Dagenham, Hackney and Newham have some of the highest proportions of children living in income deprived households in the country.

What is 'Convergence'? Ralph Ward explains for the Regeneration Committee


  1. The Mayor should commission research on factors affecting convergence and look at the effects of people moving in and out of the area.
  2. To keep momentum going, the Mayor needs to include convergence in the new London Plan, the upcoming Economic Development Strategy, and his final Health Inequalities Strategy.
  3. The LLDC should revise its local plans to take into account areas beyond the boundaries of the Olympic Park to ensure the legacy of the 2012 Games is secured.

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