In It to Win It

27 July 2011

Are you in the legions of northerners who, like me, have taken to grumbling about the cost of the Olympics, at a time when the country can ill afford it? If only our World Cup bid had been as creative we may not have fallen out with the Honest Joe’s at FIFA. But that’s another story.

Having won the Olympic bid, the cost seemed to double weekly for a while and the only beneficiaries, we thought, would be the Landaners. In any case what on God’s earth is the idea of building a new multi million pound Velodrome in the capital city when there’s a perfectly good one in Manchester? Austerity measures my bottom!

Business leaders are falling over themselves to disagree on the size of the opportunity for companies in the North. There has been a flurry of interviews given by senior figures at Lloyds Bank warning businesses up here not to assume all the wonga will be distributed in the South East. But then Lloyds is one of the main sponsors of 2012 - and they are more careful with their money than this time three years ago.

And there again Close has just commissioned a survey that suggests 85 per cent of North West businesses will enjoy no financial gain whatsoever.

In truth, you don’t need to eat jellied eels and be a fan of Chaz and Dave to join this particular knees up. There have been genuine, if limited, efforts to share out some of the business opportunities that will spring from the event and we’ve already had some success up here.       

Hundreds of businesses in the North have won London Olympic contracts from major construction projects in the Olympic Village to the deals to produce souvenir bookmarks and baby grows. And there are still plenty to tender for, over £5m worth at the last count.

So surely it’s worth a look and don’t discount yourselves on the basis of your sector.

There will be business on the way for those of us that are quick off the mark. When the torch relay comes through the region there’ll be opportunities for security, fencing and catering. Have a word with your local authority (if it’s still there) to make sure the celebrations spin out more opportunities and you’re fully aware of them.

Contracts can be won directly from the ODA but there will be more opportunities further down the supply chain.

CompeteFor was set up by the London 2012 team to ensure the transparency and availability of 2012 opportunities for businesses countrywide. So have a look at their website if you are looking for business. And let’s face it, who isn’t at the moment?

And when the London event does get under way in exactly a year, make sure there is room in your sport viewing schedule alongside the European Championships, Super League, Test Cricket, Wimbledon and the Open, even if you don’t like synchronised swimming.

London 2012 contract opportunities are on

Posted  27 July 2011


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