Businesses winning race for Olympic gold

COMPANIES across the east of England, which includes Herts and Beds, have won Olympics contracts valued at an estimated £53 million.

The latest figures, supplied by the East of England Development Agency (EEDA) show that 376 contracts have been secured by companies in the region - all advertised via the CompeteFor website.

Among the winners are Herts companies that have supplied textiles and fences - and more contracts are being offered through the year.

CompeteFor is the online ‘dating agency’ for businesses to apply for contracts linked to the games.

Will Pope, chairman of the EEDA, said: “London 2012 is already providing a huge boost to the economy of the East of England, with benefits coming before, during and long after the games. We have seen a really positive response from businesses, with over 15,000 now registered on CompeteFor.

“The fact that so many contracts have been won is a testament to the ambition and quality of businesses in the east.”

With a little over 18 months until the opening ceremony, the New Year provides the perfect opportunity for businesses to find out how they can make London 2012 count for their business with a variety of opportunities available.

Contracts worth approximately £250 million will be available through CompeteFor during 2011, ranging from the supply of podiums and costumes, to furniture and professional artists and performers.

Business prospects will be boosted by the region’s close proximity to the Olympic Park site in London and the two events being held in the region - the mountain biking at Hadleigh Farm, Essex and the White Water Canoeing in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire.

Two Herts companies profiled by EEDA are Ashley Wilde, based in Welham Green and Darfen Durafencing, in St Albans.

Robert Goldwater, Finance Director for the Ashley Wilde Group, said: “Ashley Wilde did not have a significant experience with a procurement process of this type, so we utilised the Business Link support available to ensure that we were business ready for CompeteFor.

“When the home textile license was advertised on CompeteFor, we completed an analysis of whether the opportunity was appropriate for us and, with our extensive experience of licensed products we felt that it was worth bidding for.

“We now have products in the London 2012 shop and look forward to producing more exciting products in the near future.’

Darfen Durafencing, has been awarded the contract to provide perimeter fencing for the Aquatic Centre site by the Balfour Beatty Group.