Around 150 local companies were briefed by the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) on the new business opportunities developing from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games at an Invest Northern Ireland organised seminar today.
The breakfast briefing, the most recent in a series of events organised by ODA and Invest NI to encourage and assist more Northern Ireland companies to bid for around 75,000 supply chain opportunities worth more than £6 billion.
The companies were brought up-to-date about the latest opportunities and developments by John Armitt, the ODA Chairman and Lee Taylor, senior supply chain manager for the ODA. They also heard how best to bid for the business by registering on the ODA’s CompeteFor website from Tracy Meharg, Invest NI’s Managing Director of Innovation and Capability Development.
Other speakers included Corin Hawthorne, Business Development Manager of Mivan, who presented a case study on their approach to using CompeteFor and bidding for 2012 work.
John Armitt, the chair of the Olympic Delivery Agency said: “We want to help businesses from Northern Ireland make the most of the golden opportunities which are up for grabs. Companies of all sizes from different sectors across the country have already won work directly with the ODA. While we still have contracts left to place, the bulk of opportunities are now through our contractors and the supply chain."
Tracy Meharg said: “Invest NI’s priority is to help local businesses, especially those in the hard pressed construction sector, to have the best opportunity and to be fully prepared to reap the huge business benefits from London 2012.
“This is an unprecedented, a once in a lifetime opportunity particularly for small to medium sized (SME) companies, the backbone of the local economy and a sector that ODA, the London Organising Committee (LOCOG) and, of course, Invest NI are exceptionally keen to help to secure as much business as possible.
“It’s extremely encouraging then that around 850 local companies, mostly SMEs, have already registered with CompeteFor and many are actively pitching for Olympic contracts being allocated by ODA and the London Organising Committee (LOCOG).
“By registering and publishing their details on CompeteFor, which is a very easy process, companies can find out about the range of opportunities coming up and how to compete for them as well as demonstrating to buyers the services they can offer. To be competitive, companies will have to show contractors they have the capability and relevant experience to deliver the project they are bidding to secure.
“A number of the companies are already using our programmes to enhance their capability, expertise and overall competitiveness for 2012 contracts and have established relationships with major contractors in Great Britain. We want to see a great many more companies bidding for this important business,” she added.
Mr Armitt and other members of the ODA team met Nigel Dodds, the Minister for Finance and Personnel, Stephen Kingon, the Invest NI Chairman, and visited local companies which have successfully secured business at the Olympic site, including Mallusk-based Brett Martin, who will be designing, producing and supplying roofing to a variety of venues involved in London 2012.
The company has already provided translucent GRP (glass reinforced plastic) roofing and cladding for the completed football and rugby stadium at the £83 million Leigh Sports Village in the north of England, which has been included in the London 2012 Pre-Games Training Camp Guide. It is also supplying, amongst other London 2012-related projects, rooflights for the main basketball arena to be used during the games and covering for walkways surrounding the games’ main arena.
Laurence Martin of Brett Martin says: “We are very pleased to be so closely involved in the delivery of a number of world-class training and competition venues for London 2012 and we warmly welcome Mr Armit to our Mallusk headquarters, which in conjunction with Brett Martin Daylight Systems in Coventry, plays a key role in the delivery of many of our roofing projects.”
Brett Martin rooflights can be found in many major arenas, including Wembley Stadium, Twickenham, the Kensington Oval, which hosted the final of the 2007 Cricket World Cup, and Thomond Park, the home of two-time European club rugby champions, Munster.