Coe promises Staffordshire companies will benefit
JULY 11 - SEBASTIAN COE (pictured) has promised that companies in Staffordshire will benefit from London staging the 2012 Olympics.
It follows criticism from the area that they will not benefit from the Games.
Coe told the Stoke Senitel: "We take this very, very seriously.
"More than half the contracts given out by the ODA (Olympic Delivery Authority) are to companies from outside London.
"We have still got four years to go and so far most of the contracts have been of a construction nature.
"That is freeing up the supply chain and making sure small and medium-sized enterprises within the construction arena are able to benefit.
"That is happening now in the West Midlands.
"There is a business in Walsall which is building a large sewage system for the Olympic Village and there is a tubing company in Wolverhampton that is supplying all the tubing for the conveyor belt system there.
"I am seeing this happening the length and breadth of the country."
Critics, including some senior academics in Staffordshire, question the value of London 2012 to North Staffordshire and South Cheshire - saying the money would be much better spent on regeneration projects.
But councillor Debra Gratton, Stoke-on-Trent City Council portfolio holder for sports and leisure, said: "The Olympics and Paralympic Games offer an excellent opportunity to Stoke-on-Trent businesses to showcase their talents on a worldwide stage.
"The city has a wealth of companies which could directly benefit from the 2012 Games.
"This is why it is so important for businesses to get behind the events.
"The money and opportunities are out there and I do believe Stoke-on-Trent will be able to pull in very big contracts on the back of the Games.
"A dedicated officer has now been assigned to help and it is important that companies register to be in with a chance.
"This is a once in a life time opportunity and we need to be making the most of it.
"The focus on the Olympics will raise the profile of the city and boost tourism for many years to come."