Norfolk businesses urged to take Olympic opportunity

From straw bales for horse stables to ice cream vans, there are hundreds of opportunities for Norfolk businesses to get involved in the 2012 Olympic Games.

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) has kicked off its procurement for Games-time goods and services, estimated to be �700m worth of business opportunities.

To be in with a chance of winning any contracts, businesses need to register on the CompeteFor website, a free service that enables businesses to compete for contract opportunities linked to the London 2012 Games and other major public and private sector buying organisations, such as Transport for London (TfL), Crossrail and the Metropolitan Police.

They will then be sent information about relevant opportunities.

This month, LOCOG has issued a range of bulletins about available advertising contracts. Those on offer include horse bedding and feed and eyewear and glasses accessories.

LOCOG is looking to appoint a supplier of horse feed, hay, bedding and other equine products to the teams participating in the equestrian test events in 2011 and the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.

The horse food required includes hay, bran, oats, barley, sweet feed, pellets or cubes, corn, linseed and carrots. Straw, shavings, paper or other bedding material are also needed.

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James Carswell, cabinet member for cultural services, said: 'Norfolk's businesses are well positioned to benefit from the thousands of contract opportunities arising from the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

'While some companies in the county have put themselves in the running, it's important that every Norfolk business is fully aware of how they can capitalise on the Games.

'We want Norfolk to be right at the heart of the action and make the most of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and we are here to help and encourage in any way that we can.'

A spokesman from LOCOG said: 'Now with less than two years left to go, we are going full steam ahead and there are loads of opportunities across different sectors.

'It will be really intense next year and the first half of 2012 and we will need everything from creative services for the opening and closing ceremonies, tents, marquees and temporary buildings and catering services to all sorts of back of house stuff, such as fixtures and fittings. We're also starting to look at language services in terms of translation and the design of the Olympic torch, which is now out to tender.'

Meanwhile, more than 240,000 people have applied to be one of the 70,000 volunteers needed at the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012. The organising committee is now going through the applications and successful applicants will hear in the new year.

To register your business for London 2012 opportunities, go to www.competefor.com