Glasgow 2014 procurement chief: early talks key to local business benefits

27 October 2011

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27 October 2011 | Adam Leach

Communicating promptly with local businesses is essential to maximise the local benefits of Glasgow 2014, its head of procurement has said.

Today there are 1,000 days to go until the start of the 20th Commonwealth Games in Scotland. A ProgressReport, published today, says since 2007 the organising committee (OC) has spent £45.9 million in planning and preparing for the games and is “on track to deliver the games on budget”. The expected cost of delivering the event is £523.6 million.

Head of procurement David Brown and his team are responsible for awarding all the contracts for the 17 sports events and all the services needed on the operational side. Contracts already out to tender include brand campaign and strategy services, IT services, and planning consultancy services for Hampden Park's temporary transformation from a football stadium to an athletics venue. And Brown’s team are set on giving local businesses as strong a chance as possible to win deals.

As a public body, Glasgow 2014 must comply with EU regulations, so in order for local businesses to profit, they will have to rise above the competition. To help them, the procurement team has been established earlier than other Commonwealth Games events and has been communicating directly with local businesses and partners such as Glasgow City Council and Scottish Enterprise.

Brown is adamant that getting the right information and support to the local area will enable them to gain significant benefits but stressed that they won’t get a leg up. “We want to support local businesses to be competitive on a world stage, but we’re not looking to them beyond all others, we’re certainly not subsidising them.”

And the strategy appears to be working, so far around half of the contracts already awarded have gone to Scottish suppliers. “There’s still some time before we can say local businesses have adapted to having the games here and that we’ve managed to exploit this opportunity but so far it’s very encouraging,” says Brown.

The progress report said recent figures show an estimated direct economic expenditure of £23.2 million from planned conferences, events, and air route development projects for the city since it assumed host status.

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