Garboldisham firm secures Olympic signs contract

A businessman's focus on new cutting-edge technology has paid off after scooping a contract to supply electronic signs for the Olympics.

A Norfolk firm will play a part in helping with the smooth running of the greatest sporting event in the world after being asked to provide large electronic signs that will deliver live traffic information around the Olympic Park in east London.

Mervyn Lambert Plant Ltd in Garboldisham, near Diss, has secured a contract with the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games to supply the Variable Message Signs (VMS), worth �45,000 each, which will be used to control traffic on the routes leading to the site.

The company, which started its own traffic management department in 2007, will also be providing an electronic information board for drivers ferrying athletes around the Olympic village.

The signs, which can be pre-loaded with up to 4,000 different messages, will be operated and controlled by staff at the company's Garboldisham headquarters during the Olympics and Paralympics this summer.

Mervyn Lambert, who founded the plant hire company in 1969, said he was proud to be involved in the 'prestigious' event and they had to jump through a lot of hoops to secure an Olympic contract.

'We are proud that Norfolk has been selected to be part of the Olympics and we have been recognised to have the competency and technology to meet the requirements which is important. It has been said that Norfolk is not getting a bite of the cake, but we have proven different. We are pleased to be part of it as a Norfolk company,' he said.

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Mr Lambert began his plant hire business in 1969 in Garboldisham after buying a second-hand digger and the firm has grown to almost 200 employees with a turnover of more than �1m a month and more than 2,000 plant hire items. The firm has recruited 12 new staff in the last few weeks to keep up with the workload.

He added that he was hopeful of securing another contract with the London Olympics organisers to provide more signage for the games.

'We have the cutting-edge technology and it is a huge investment for us. I started in agriculture when I left school, but the future of Norfolk's employment is high-tech. If there is a burst water main or gas main, we can respond in one phone call with the equipment, the traffic management and the men to drive the machines,' he said.

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