Construction industry targets sports stadia business in Poland

Ten construction, professional services and engineering companies are taking part in an Invest Northern Ireland initiative to explore opportunities in Poland where £20 billion is expected to be spent on infrastructure and sports venues, including the Euro 2012 Finals.

The group will be in Warsaw from 6-10 June, for meetings with potential business partners also interested in sports infrastructure contracts. Poland and Ukraine will host the European Football Championships in 2012.

In tandem with the Euro 2012 championships, the Polish Ministry of Sport and Tourism has launched a £50 million national programme aimed at establishing over 2,000 new sports fields by 2012.

In addition to the main stadium projects, 16 new training and accommodation centres for football teams are to be built.  The allocated budget for the six stadia and surrounding infrastructure is estimated at £800 million.

Commenting on the mission, Dr Vicky Kell, Invest NI Trade Director, said: “Since joining the EU in 2004, Poland has benefited from generous funding.  For instance, the Infrastructure and the Environment Operational Programme 2007 -2013 aims to make Poland and its regions more attractive for investment by developing the technical infrastructure.

“The overall cost of the programme is more than £20 billion. Much of the funding is aimed at construction and regeneration projects as well as environmental improvements and sharing best practice in innovation with Poland companies.

“Opportunities that we’ve pinpointed for our companies include the modernisation and development of road connections between local airports and stadia; the construction of integration junctions and bypasses to improve traffic to the city centre; development of the integrated traffic control and monitoring systems; airport infrastructure and construction of new terminals and parking space for aircraft; and the construction of new accommodation facilities and training centres.

“Major projects are already underway in Warsaw, Gdansk, Wroclaw and Poznan. Our aim is to assist our companies to link up with major contractors which have won business for inclusion in their supply chains.

“In addition to a pre-mission workshop for participating companies, we’ve lined up a series briefings and meetings that will enable them to develop contacts and to gain a better understanding of how to do business in Poland,” added Dr Kell.

The mission includes Graham Construction of Hillsborough and Cookstown’s McAleer and Rushe, two of Northern Ireland’s leading construction companies, as well as a number of architectural and professional service businesses including Delap and Waller, a Londonderry surveying and project management consultancy which has projects in Poland.