All set for Sochi
Populous, the company that provided planning and design services for the Olympic Park, is now applying that expertise in developing the Sochi Masterplan for the 2014 Winter Olympics – exemplifying how UK plc is capitalising on the knowledge and skills developed during London 2012.
“So much has gone into respecting the capital’s heritage,” said Patricia Fernandez of Populous. “It never steps being amazing seeing it all come together – you really feel proud to be a part of it, and see the beautiful transformation of the city.”
That pride is now turning into further exciting business opportunities, with Populous being among a growing number of UK-based firms winning contracts for the Sochi and Rio Games.
The process is supported by the UKTI’s Host2Host programme, which helps to forge business partnerships with other countries involved in hosting major sporting events.
Major business boost for Kent fencing firm
The old saying that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence was certainly true for a Kent firm who have used an Olympic Park contract to help them expand their business.
Chestnut Products, which specialises in commercial fencing was one of thousands of companies that benefited from CompeteFor – an online service which allows businesses to compete for opportunities linked to London 2012.
“The London 2012 contract has had many positive impacts on our business,” said the company’s Roderick Parrish. “Apart from the obvious financial advantage of securing a large contract, we have taken on new staff and developed our ability to effectively run large scale operations.
"It has raised our profile to contractors working within the Olympic Park, allowing us to compete for many other fencing packages for the Games.”
Chatterbox being heard thanks to Olympic tech hub
An East London media company is one of hundreds of start-up firms creating a buzz in the Tech City corridor around the Olympic Park, as London 2012 helps East London become a first port of call for budding entrepreneurs.
Stuart Battersby, who is co-founder of Chatterbox Analytics, says the global profile of London 2012 is having a lasting impact on their business. “For an early start-up business like ours, the connections in Tech City are vital,” he said. “But the big difference the Olympics is making is the way it’s raising the profile of London, especially of businesses like ours.”
Stretching from Shoreditch to Stratford, Tech City has grown from just 15 to 300 companies in the three years leading up to the Games – and for firms like Chatterbox Analytics, this is helping them to take the next step forward.
“It’s a challenge for UK tech companies to impress the US, which is seen as leading the field”, Mr Battersby added. “But with this new focus on London, we hope to encourage more overseas customers.”
Building a legacy for female construction workers
An East London woman who worked on the Olympic Park construction project is one of the thousands of local people whose lives have changed thanks to the opportunities opened up by London 2012.
“It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work on a project like this in London,” said Rudo Manokore who worked on the Olympic Park as part of the ODA’s Women into Construction programme. This promotes construction-related employment opportunities and support for women in this traditionally male dominated industry.
As a local resident, Rudo is keenly aware of the broader legacy of the Games on the area she grew up: “It’s obviously going to have a huge impact on this area and the lives of the people who are going to possibly live here. It’s a great opportunity to showcase the area to the rest of the world.”