How do I demonstrate the economic impact of sport?

Understanding the context

The value of sport to local government and communities extends beyond sport for sport’s sake. There is considerable evidence of sport’s role in delivering a wide variety of benefits to communities and individuals, including economic growth.

Sport can help increase economic prosperity, provide employment opportunities and contribute towards raising aspirations and increasing skill levels.

Sports activities and events, sports facilities, sports volunteering, sports leadership, sports training and sport employment schemes all help develop the knowledge, skills and productivity of individuals and communities and create strong and vibrant neighbourhoods and cities where people want to live and businesses invest.

Key Facts:

  • In 2010, sport and sport-related activity contributed £20.3 billion to the English economy – 1.9% of the England total
  • The contribution to employment is even greater – sport and sport-related activity is estimated to support over 400,000 full-time equivalent jobs, 2.3% of all jobs in England
  • The estimated economic value of sport-related volunteering is £2.7 billion
  • The annual value of health benefits from people taking part in sport is estimated at £11.2 billion.

Since 2010 local authorities and businesses have come together to form local enterprise partnerships (LEPs). The LEPs play a central role in determining local economic priorities and undertaking activities to drive economic growth and the creation of local jobs.

LEPs come in all shapes and sizes and the make-up of boards, in terms of public and private-sector participants, varies. There is a listing of the make-up of LEPs by local authority in the Local Sport Profile Tool.

To help key decision-makers understand the benefits of investing in sport for its impact on the local economy it is important to:

  • Map the landscape – be clear who you want to influence and understand their priorities
  • Pull together all the appropriate information and data and identify any gaps
  • Develop the case and how it can be best taken forward.

How can Sport England help?

Our suggested approach using our tools and resources:

  • Check out our evidence for the benefits of sport to the economy for the national overview
  • Undertake an Culture and Sport Outcomes Framework to help develop a route map of sports contribution to the economy for your local area
  • Ensure you have all your local facts and figures at your fingertips using the Local Sports Profile Tool, which not only gives a profile of the local authority area but also gives the information at a LEP level
  • Find out what the local economic impact of sport is using our Economic Value of Sport - Local Model (updated November 2015). This tool provides a snapshot of the indicative economic value of sports activities for a local authority or LEP area through participation, non-participation and valuing the wider benefits. Where more local data is available this can be added to refine the results. It can also be used to assess the economic impact of changes such as an increase or decrease in participation numbers and the effect, for example, on the number of jobs at sports facilities or cost savings to the health service.

What's the result?

By using the material from these tools together, supplemented by your own intelligence and evidence, you will have:

  • A developed case, with supportive data and evidence, on the contribution sport can make to the economy
  • An understanding of the key partners to influence and make the case to, particularly the local enterprise partnerships.