Olympics opportunity for businesses
Alasdair McGregor The region's businesses were last night urged to seize a golden opportunity to secure a multi-million pound windfall from work generated by the 2012 London Olympics.
The region's businesses were last night urged to seize a golden opportunity to secure a multi-million pound windfall from work generated by the 2012 London Olympics.
A huge range of contracts are still up for grabs and companies in East Anglia have been told they are in a prime position to cash in as preparation for the games gathers pace.
Business leaders believe regional companies could be in line for £380m-worth of contracts and the potential rich-pickings were high-lighted by the Olympic Delivery Authority's (ODA) head of procurement, Morag Stuart, at a meeting in Lowestoft.
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Waveney MP Bob Blizzard, who organised the event with the Lowestoft and Waveney Chamber of Commerce, said: "I am pleased to have secured such a meeting in Lowestoft, alongside other such events in places like Manchester, Birmingham and Belfast.
"The ODA can now be said to have reached even Britain's most easterly point in its efforts to spread the benefits of London 2012 around the country.
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"I wanted local businesses to have every opportunity to win work and employment for our area, and there are real possibilities for some of them. It is clear that London 2012 could inject a considerable amount of money into our local economy."
Mr Blizzard added that Friday's meeting heard that in the region of £8bn of contracts still had to be allocated for a range of services ranging from construction, engineering and manufacturing, to creative services, merchandising and retail.
The East of England Development Agency (Eeda) echoed Mr Blizzard's calls for companies not to miss out on the opportunities presented by the Olympics and Paralympics.
Katie Huane, the agency's regional project manager for the games, said: "This offers a golden opportunity for the business community in the East of England.
"It is expected more than 75,000 contracts will be procured through primary contractors and their supply chains."
Leading sports equipment company Harrod UK, which is based in Lowestoft, is one of the firms hoping to benefit from the Olympics.
Sales and marketing director Les Saunders said: "We are obviously very excited by the opportunities London 2012 will present to us, particularly as we have years of experience supplying high-profile events such as the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games and venues such as Wembley, the Millennium Stadium and Twickenham."
For more details of contracts up for grabs, visit www.london2012.com/ business.