By Daniel Hunter
The UK has met a four year target to raise £11 billion worth of economic benefit from the London Olympic and Paralympic Games in just over one year.
The UK economy has benefited from a £11.06 billion trade and investment boost through businesses securing contract wins, additional sales and new foreign investment.
The £11.06 billion figure includes £130 million of contracts won by UK companies for the Brazil 2014 World Cup and the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. More than 60 UK companies have also won contracts for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, most of them mid-sized enterprises.
UK Trade & Investment‘s (UKTI) British Business Embassy at Lancaster House started the Olympic legacy drive last year by hosting a Global Investment Conference and a series of 17 business events.
The target was surpassed during the UK’s biggest ever Export Week which has seen around 5,000 companies taking part in regional events to encourage UK companies to export and a raft of new deals signed up and down the country.
Trade and Investment Minister Lord Green said: “The delivery of London 2012 on time and on budget led to hosting nations turning to the UK to help deliver their own events with supply opportunities running into the billions.
“UK Trade & Investment has played a key role in helping British companies maximise these opportunities and the result is a £11.06 billion boost to the UK economy from the Games, reaching our four year target in just over a year.
“The UK’s future prosperity will not come from relying on domestic markets alone and we have seen a major push to encourage firms across the UK to sell overseas during our biggest Export Week yet.”
During Export Week a new national campaign, Exporting is GREAT, launched targeting almost three million people to generate 3,000 appointments with UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) Advisers and drive £1.2 billion in export revenue. One of the businesses featured as part of the campaign engineering consultancy, Cundall, prepared the engineering design for the Lee Valley White Water Centre for London 2012 and is now contributing to the engineering design of the Rio 2016 Olympics white water canoe course venue.
Carole O’Neil, a partner at Cundall said: “London 2012 showcased UK expertise and talent to the world and has helped us to win work at RIO 2016. Our ambition now is to win work at every Olympics.
“I would encourage other companies thinking about growing their business to look overseas and exploit the demand for products that are made and designed by British companies.”
Other deals announced during export week included:
- In Worthing, a firm that started life in a spare room 30 years ago has announced global sales of £4 million. The 155 strong staff at Electronic Temperature Instruments Ltd produce digital thermometers and exports have doubled over the last three years, now making up 40% of their almost £10 million turnover.
- In Buckinghamshire, successful food company The Kids Food Company Ltd has forecast sales of £2.5 million in the next 12 months and £12.5 million in four years time. Its products are now on sale in 1,400 stores across the USA, including Toys R Us and Amazon.com. The firm is also in advanced talks with major companies in China, South Korea, Australia, Spain and Scandinavia.
- In Hastings, a small electronics firm Hastel Ltd has won an order worth £1.2 million, to help monitor power generators across India. The company has won an initial order to supply 10,000 monitors for use across India, following a UKTI trip to assess the market.
- In Nottingham, specialist safety systems company Roodsafe has secured a contract to help construct the King Abdullah Football Stadium in Saudi Arabia. The company is currently installing more than five kilometres of cable based fall-restraint systems on the stadium in Jeddah, the largest and most expensive in the world, which will be completed in December 2013.
- In Derbyshire, specialist logistics firm, Cargo Link Expess Limited, has opened a new office in Libya, just 12 months after visiting the market with UKTI.
- Also in Derbyshire, Belper-based lingerie and nightwear company Slenderella is keeping people warm around the world this winter after winning new overseas orders worth more than £25,000, less than four months after beginning to work with UKTI.
Business Secretary Vince Cable led a trade visit to Russia during Export Week with over 30 British companies aiming to boost the fast growing economic links between the two countries. Among the new deals signed on the trip was a new £30 million fund to help small businesses export to Russia.
The government’s long term vision for the legacy of the Olympic Games aims to use the inspirational power of 2012, and future major sporting events, to set the long term ambitions for delivering lasting change in sport, our communities, the economy, regeneration of east London and driving forward the cause of disability equality.
Just as the Games took ten years to win, plan and deliver, so legacy must be seen as a 10-year project to realise lasting change and growth - UKTI's efforts in securing a long term economic benefit increasing exports and attracting investment is part of this vision.
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