Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster is encouraging companies to explore business opportunities offered by global sporting events, as she announced that 43 local firms have won more than £40 million of Olympics contracts.
With just one year to go before the London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony, details of some new NI contract successes have been revealed by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG).
The 43 companies which will now supply products and services to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games include H&J Martin in Belfast, which has won a contract to work within the International Broadcast Centre, and Boyd Bedding of Newtownstewart, Co. Tyrone, which will be the sole supplier of wood shavings for the extensive equestrian section.
Companies have secured business from several channels including CompeteFor, the web portal which has been marketed extensively in Northern Ireland, and from being part of the existing supply chains of major contractors. A further £350 million worth of contracts for products and services are still to be placed and the contracts, many of which will be ideally suited to smaller companies, are likely to be let right up to the start of the Games in July 2012.
Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said: “Over the past two years Invest Northern Ireland has made significant support available to companies who are bidding for 2012 business.
“The number of Olympics contracts awarded show that businesses here can compete successfully for work associated with this major, iconic event. Furthermore, several local food companies are currently bidding to provide food and drink to participants, organisers and visitors. However, the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics are just part of a series of upcoming major business opportunities for Northern Ireland companies.
“Invest NI is already working to help companies secure business from other forthcoming international sporting events, especially the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014, the Winter Olympics 2014 at Sochi, Russia, the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil and the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. I would encourage all companies to access this support and explore the contracts on offer.”
Logan’s Travel, Dunloy, and Translink, Belfast will both supply coaches for use during the 2012 Games. Cunningham Covers in Maghera also won the contract to provide huge tarpaulin covers for the beach volleyball centre at Horse Guards Parade in the centre of London. McGrath Group, Lisburn, has provided the architectural metal wok for the Olympic Stadium and Macrete Concrete, Toomebridge, the parapet support structures for bridges and roads in the Olympic Park.
Arlene Foster added: “It is encouraging to see the level of significant business placed with a broad range of Northern Ireland companies including Lagan Construction in Belfast, McAvoy Off-Site, Dungannon, Brett Martin, Newtownabbey and Ulster Weavers in Holywood.
“With exactly a year to go before the Games begin, Invest NI will, along with the Department of Culture Arts and Leisure, encourage and assist our companies to identify opportunities. I am confident that the experience gained by many of our companies, both large and small in bidding for business from the 2012 London Olympics will benefit them at forthcoming international events.”