The Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude, visited Cambridge today to see first-hand how the town is already benefiting from London hosting the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer.
Francis Maude met two Cambridge-based companies:
- Touch of Ginger - has been awarded a licence to supply London 2012 branded gifts, including a range of stainless steel products including limited edition stainless steel playing cards for collectors.
The licence was only awarded to the company in February 2010, but just three months later it had already enabled Touch of Ginger to open talks with global blue chip companies who may not have been available as a potential clients before the licence was granted. The company is a small business and expects to grow its business by 50% as a direct result of involvement with the Olympics. Almost all their products are designed and manufactured in the UK and are made from recyclable materials where possible.
- Spearmark International - a company that has won a licence from the London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) to produce drinks bottles, lunchware and tinware including tea, coffee, biscuit and cake tins and moneyboxes, that will be sold from the online shop and other outlets.
Spearmark is based in Cambridgeshire and produces a broad range of innovative children’s character lunchware, tableware and drinkware, which is sold through a wide network of large retailers both nationally and internationally.
The minister met the companies to discuss the impact of the Olympics on their business and the government’s ambition to support small and medium sized enterprises across the country.
Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude, said:
I am delighted to see how local businesses are thriving as a result of the Olympic Games. It is essential that the economic benefits of London 2012 are felt throughout the country, not just in London, and that small businesses are given the opportunity to compete at a global level.
Small and medium sized enterprises are vital to our economy and it is good to see that London 2012 is helping them to grow. The Games are not just about amazing sporting achievements, but also about boosting businesses which will leave a lasting legacy.
Gary Moore, Touch of Ginger, said:
The impact of the London 2012 licence on our business has been immense - and we’ve hardly started. We expect to grow our business by 50% as a direct result of our involvement. As we emerge from the global recession, our company will be stronger and fitter as a direct result of the Games.
Alex Bloom, Managing Director, Spearmark International, said:
The additional profit that we will generate from London 2012 will allow us to invest in the future of our business in a way that would not have otherwise been possible in this tough economic climate.
This morning, Francis Maude attended a Cabinet meeting at the Olympic Park in Stratford, East London, chaired by the Prime Minister David Cameron. The meeting focused on how every part of the UK can take full advantage of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and the unique chance that that the country has to sell itself to a massive international audience.
This afternoon, Cabinet Ministers are visiting towns and cities across the UK to see for themselves how businesses, sports facilities, schools and organisations are benefiting from the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
With little over seven months before the opening ceremony, the construction phase is 95% complete and the project continues to be on time and on budget. Since work began on the East London site in 2008, £6.39billion worth of contracts have been awarded to over 1,500 business in the UK, with more than a billion pounds worth going to the East of England.
Boosting tourism numbers
Hosting the Games this summer will put the United Kingdom in the international spotlight and the Government is committed to ensuring that the tourism sector maximises the benefits, boosting investment, jobs and growth. Domestic tourism will benefit from a 20.12% discount initiative recently announced by Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt and during a trip to New York last September the Prime Minister launched the GREAT campaign which will focus on promoting globally everything the UK has to offer. The campaign will showcase the opportunities to invest in the UK and help to attract millions of extra visitors.
Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, Jeremy Hunt said;
London 2012 gives us an opportunity to showcase the best of Britain to the world and what this country has to offer. From our beautiful countryside to historic sites, sporting venues to our amazing cultural offer, Britain really does have something for everyone. I am confident that we will put on a sporting spectacular this summer with some magical, medal moments that we will never forget and that will inspire many young people to get involved in sport.
Sports in the UK will also receive a boost as part of the Olympic legacy with many of the world-class venues being opened up to local communities and initiatives to support sport in schools, communities and elite athletes continuing after the Games.
Notes to Editors
- For further information on the benefits that the Olympics is bringing to the East of England, please contact the DCMS press office on 020 7211 6263.
- 20.12 per cent discount - Accommodation providers who sign up to the VisitEngland-led campaign, will offer people the discount providing they book before the end of the Paralympics. The initiative will be fully launched later this year.
- Funding for elite athletes - Funding for our elite athletes will remain at the same level in the run-up to the 2016 Rio Games.
- Community sport - Sport England’s £135 million PlacesPeoplePlay programme is already boosting community sport up and down the country - upgrading facilities, protecting playing fields and providing more opportunities for people to play sport.
- School Games - The School Games is revitalising competitive sport in schools. 11,000 schools have signed up to date which will see inter-school and school versus school sports competition happen across the country. The first national final will take place at the Olympic Park in May with young athletes competing in many of the Games venues before the world’s best go for gold at London 2012.