Firms Urged to Go for Gold in 2012; OLYMPICS: Cycling Star Helps Launch Guide for Businesses to Win Share of Pounds 6bn Worth of Contracts

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Byline: By Andy Hutson BUSINESS EDITOR

BUSINESSES in Coventry and Warwickshire have been urged to get on their bikes by backing a new drive to help them win a slice of pounds 6 billion worth of London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games contracts.

The call to back the 'Giving It Our All' scheme has come from Olympic star Paul Manning, who won a gold medal in Beijing in the cycling team pursuit.

Advantage West Midlands' scheme is the first project of its kind launched by a regional development agency, introducing businesses to a wide-ranging support package which includes sector updates, workshops and a national electronic brokerage service.

The intention is to link companies across all sectors to relevant projects ahead of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, maximising the potential windfall for the West Midlands economy.

It is also supported by Business Link West Midlands, the West Midlands Business Council and the Confederation of West Midlands Chambers of Commerce.

The Olympic Delivery Authority and London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games expects to allocate an estimated 75,000 business opportunities for direct contractors and their supply chains. These and other related contracts are estimated to be worth in the region of pounds 6 billion.

Paul Manning said: "London 2012 will be a fantastic event for the whole country and this scheme is a wonderful opportunity to help businesses play their part in getting it off the ground.

"As a proud West Midlander it will be great for as many companies as possible from the region to enjoy the economic benefits of the Games.

"I have had the privilege of competing in three Games and would recommend being involved in whatever way people can. …