DD1389 2016 Ligue Européenne de Natation European Aquatics

Type of decision: 
Director's decision
Code: 
DD1389
Date signed: 
22 September 2015
Decision by: 
Jeff Jacobs, Head of Paid Service

Executive summary

This DD seeks approval to commit £50,000 from the Major Sports Events Fund towards delivery of the 2016 Ligue Européenne de Natation (LEN) European Aquatics Championships to be hosted at the London Aquatics Centre in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park between 9 and 22 May 2016.

Decision

That the Executive Director approves expenditure of up to £50,000 in grant funding to contribute towards the delivery of the 2016 LEN European Aquatics Championships.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1     Background

1.1.1    The success of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games has cemented London’s position as a world-leading host of major sporting events. The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park has also added significantly to the range of world class sporting facilities available for hosting events in London. A key part of the on-going legacy of London 2012 is ensuring that these facilities and others around London be regularly and fully made use of.

1.1.2    London has already secured a portfolio of additional events for the years ahead that will help sustain our position as a world-leading host and is in keeping with the stated legacy aims from London 2012, one of which is to ensure that the facilities built for the Games continue to be used to stage high-level international sporting events. They include the 2015 Rugby World Cup, 2015 European Hockey Championships, 2015 Formula E Championships, 2016 Track Cycling World Championships, 2017 IAAF World Athletics Championships and IPC World Athletics Championships. 

1.1.3    Recognising that most major sporting events require some level of public support, the GLA allocated £2.4 million over four years to future major sporting events as part of the 2014/15 budget setting process. This Major Sports Events Fund supports the Mayor’s major sporting events strategy for London, ‘London: Home of World Class Sport’, which was published in April 2014. 

1.1.4    This new London-wide approach to bidding for and supporting major sporting events establishes the Mayor’s Office as the first point of call for anyone looking to bring their event to London, and firmly establishes the Mayor’s Office as London’s strategic lead for major sporting events.

1.2       LEN European Swimming Championships

1.2.1    The LEN European Swimming Championships are a biennial competition for Europe’s best swimmers, divers and synchronised swimmers to compete to be crowned European champions in their respective disciplines. It is one of the most prestigious competitions in world sport. 

1.2.2    The event will take place between 9 and 22 May 2016 in the Aquatics Centre, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

1.2.3    In an historic first, the FINA European Masters Championships will be held immediately after the elite Swimming, Diving and Synchronised Swimming European Championships to form the LEN European Aquatics Championships 2016. The Masters brings together amateur athletes from around the continent to compete in an open tournament over a 4 day period. The event is unrestricted and open to all ages. 

1.2.4    The event was secured on the understanding that a contribution would be made by the GLA. This DD formally confirms this support and agrees the amount at £50,000.    

1.2.5    Evaluated against the criteria set out in the GLA’s Major Sports Events Strategy, “London, Home of World Class Sport”, it was deemed that: 

•    the Economic Impact of the event was evaluated as gold 
•    the International and Domestic Broadcast proposal for the event was evaluated as silver. 
•    the Community Engagement proposal for the event was evaluated as silver. 

1.2.6    In addition to the £50,000 contribution to the staging costs of the event, £30,000 has also been allocated from the Major Sports Events Engagement Fund (part of the Mayor’s Sports Legacy Programme), approved by DD1335, to contribute toward the delivery of a grassroots community legacy project associated with the 2016 LEN European Aquatics Championships 2016. 

1.2.7    In addition to the LEN, it is anticipated that combining the event and the Masters will have a further impact on London’s economy given the pull factor of both events, with vast numbers of spectators and competitors coming to stay in London for the period. 

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1          The objectives of the proposed funding are to:

•    Support the successful hosting of the 2016 LEN European Aquatics Championships;
•    Support delivery of the Mayor’s major sports events strategy, ‘London: Home of World Class Sport’;
•    Increase economic investment into London;
•    Increase international exposure of London;
•    Increase opportunities for Londoners to participate in sport and physical exercise programmes associated with major sporting events;
•    Assist the Mayor in delivering his commitment to a lasting sports legacy following the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. 
•    Increase opportunities for Londoners to volunteer at a major sporting events;

Equality comments

3.1.    Every major event that seeks financial support from the GLA must demonstrate how the event will engage with the local community, in line with the Mayor’s grassroots sport policy, ‘A Sporting Future for London’ and the Mayor’s Sports Legacy Programme.

3.2    An equalities impact assessment has previously been undertaken on the overall Mayor’s Sports Legacy Programme.

3.3    According to the most recent Sport England Active People survey (APS 8 published in January 2015), levels of participation in sport and physical activity are variable across different socio-demographic groups in London. Across all 33 London Boroughs, average figures indicate that 43% of men participate in sport at least once a week compared to 32% of women. 37% of Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) people participate weekly compared to 39% of people of white origin. 19% of disabled people participate weekly compared to 40% of non-disabled people. 17% of people over the age of 65 participate weekly compared to 52% of those between the age of 16 and 25. 41% of people from socio-economic groups 1 to 4 participate weekly compared to 25% of people from socio-economic groups 5-8 (based on the National Statistics Socio-economic classification system).

3.4    Sports programmes supported by the Mayor’s Sports Legacy Programme engage significant numbers of women, disabled people, BAME people and people from lower socio-economic groups, both via sports participation programmes and training opportunities. We are seeking to increase participation opportunities for these groups through the Major Sports Events Engagement Fund that this event has also bid to.

3.5    Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, where the event is being held, is fully accessible. The Park offers good step-free access, hard-standing surfaces, regular seating and accessible Blue Badge car parking for each of the venues. 

Other considerations

4.1     Key Risks and Issues

 

Risk

Likelihood / Impact

Response & Mitigation

1

That the event does not deliver against London’s key strategic objectives

Medium / Low

The evaluation process undertaken in order to determine city support for events is robust and thorough.

 

Assumptions made in British Swimming’s proposal were tested and challenged by the GLA and partners prior to deciding to offer financial support in order to ensure confidence that the event is likely to deliver on its claims.

 

The GLA is represented on, and in fact chairs, the event steering group to oversee operational delivery.

2

Another funding partner withdraws support, or projected commercial income is not realised, putting the event at risk, and thereby exposing the Mayor/GLA to reputational risk.

Medium

Prior to committing GLA funding, a comprehensive and robust event budget with evidence of commitment from a range of public and private sector partners was submitted, thereby ensuring that the risk is spread.

There is currently a detailed analysis of the budget in progress.

 

The financial risk associated with the event is underwritten by British Swimming and UK Sport; not the GLA.

3

Reputational risk of the event failing to sell all tickets and broadcasting pictures of the venue internationally with empty seats.

High / Medium

The event organisers are confident of selling a significant proportion of tickets. However, the GLA is working with other event stakeholders to put in place a comprehensive strategy for distributing unsold tickets to local community groups and organisations to ensure the venue is full.

4.2     Links to Mayoral Strategies & Priorities

GLA support for the event will:
 
•    support delivery of the Mayor’s major sports events strategy, ‘London: Home of World Class Sport’;
•    support the aims of ‘Inclusive and Active 2’ strategy for increasing participation in sport and physical activity amongst disabled people in London; 
•    support delivery of the Mayor’s grassroots sport policy, ‘A Sporting Future for London’;
•    assist in meeting the objectives of the Mayor’s Health Inequalities Strategy; 
•    promote social development in London;
•    assist the Mayor in delivering his commitment to a lasting sports legacy following the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. 
•    support the Mayor’s priorities around volunteering and his Team London programme.

4.3     Impact Assessments and Consultations

4.3.1     An equalities impact assessment has previously been undertaken on the overall Mayor’s Sports Legacy Programme. Further information is available at Section 3 of this document.

4.3.2     In writing ‘A Sporting Future for London’, the GLA Sports Unit consulted extensively with over 400 individuals from over 100 different groups and organisations including national governing bodies of sport, the Pro-Active Partnerships, senior representatives from local authorities and a wide variety of sports clubs and community organisations. 

4.3.3     The conclusions reached received broad support from all key stakeholders and reaction to the plan itself has been very positive.

4.3.4    In writing ‘London: Home of World Class Sport’, the GLA Sports Unit consulted extensively with various national governing bodies of sport in the UK, Sport England, UK Sport, London Sport, relevant Local Authorities, LLDC, Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, London & Partners, sports venue owners in London and Transport for London. The strategy has been greatly welcomed by all key London stakeholders and partners, as well as the key national agencies identified above.

Financial comments

5.1    The proposed grant funding of £50,000 to LLDC (to be governed by a funding agreement) will be funded from the Major Sporting Events Programme budget held within the Health & Communities Unit. Any changes to this proposal, including budgetary implications will be subject to further approval via the Authority’s decision-making process. All appropriate budget adjustments will be made.

Planned delivery approach and next steps

7.1    The GLA Sports Team is working closely with British Swimming, UK sport and other stakeholders to ensure effective planning for the event. 

7.2    The GLA is represented on, and in fact chairs, the event stakeholder board which oversees:

•    The event budget; 
•    The event marketing and communications strategy; 
•    The event ticketing strategy 
•    Planning and operational delivery of the event; 

7.3    The Event will take place between 9th and 22nd May 2016.

7.4    Next steps are as follows:

Activity

Timeline

DD Signed

August 2015

Funding Agreement signed

August 2015

Event delivery

May 2016

Event monitoring report submitted

June 2016