|Catriona Gallagher and David McSweeney of Jones Engineering at the London Olympic site back in 2010|
Ireland had five medalists at the London Games this summer and sixteen at the Paralympic Games. But the athletes were not the only winners in 2012. Irish construction firms also struck Olympic gold worth well over €250 Million in contracts related to the London Olympics 2012. The Olympic projects also helped these companies to secure work on other high profile projects and establish invaluable contacts. But how did it all begin? John Hunt of Enterprise London office reminiscences on this hard road to success…
Back in 2006, not many Irish companies were thinking about developing opportunities around the construction of venues at the London 2012 Olympics. At this time, a small team of individuals from Enterprise Ireland had already begun planning and validating the games' potential in respect to the Irish construction sector capability and the benefits to the broader economy.
The Enterprise Ireland ‘Towards 2012’ programme is a great example of what the overseas offices of Enterprise Ireland do and what they do best. That is, looking at market opportunities a year or two in advance of the industry and, in collaboration with our clients, buyers and market experts take forward a market plan that is appropriate to the scale of the market opportunity.
Over the period 2007-2008 for example, much activity involved the development of a network that would provide vital to creating access during the remainder of the construction period. A network that would facilitate the introduction of capability where opportunity exists over the coming years.
Today, as the 2012 games came to their conclusion, Ireland can be proud of their contribution across all of the Olympic Venues with calculations for the collective value of contract wins estimated between €200 and €250 Million. A figure that supports thousands of jobs in Ireland and a figure which is greater than any other non- UK nation for the build phase.
The execution of the “Towards 2012” strategy involved a great many stakeholders. Including central Government, our sister agencies, The Embassy of Ireland, the media, UK trade groups in addition to a great number of one to one engagements with our key clients and market buyers.
The legacy of the programme is still resonating as our clients have moved on from the Olympic venues to other iconic UK projects. Undoubtedly an engagement with the programme and a reference to the Olympic projects has helped to secure work on other high profile schemes such as Crossrail and The Shard. Client companies such as Platt & Reilly, Crean Mosaics, Shay Murtagh, Banagher Concrete, Donseed to name just a few are the new UK entrants that have built significant export businesses in this period.
Towards 2012 has evolved to Onwards from 2012 as the UK sees an increasing depth and breadth to the footprint of Irish expertise across the construction sector.
Some of the Irish winners were:
Secured work on and around the infrastructure development of the Olympic Park for precast concrete. They provided a 375 metre tunnel enclosure and a number of other civil precast structures.
Anord Control Systems
One of the first of many significant Irish winners on the park, Anord secured the package for the supply of switchgear to the site as part of the infrastructural cabling works.
Aston Crean (Crean Mosiacs)
Supply and Installation of floor coverings to the Athlete’s Village and the Media Broadcast Centre
Following success at stadia across Ireland including the Lansdowne Road development, Banagher Concrete secured the order for pre-cast concrete terracing for the Buckingham Group’s Hand Ball arena on the Olympic Park.
Design, Supply and Installation of Biomass boilers to the Olympic Park Energy Centre.
Coillte Panel Products Limited
CPP supplied 30 trucks of material to the velodrome floor and roof. Shooting range has 3.5 miles of OSB, Press centres across the UK amount to around 20 trucks of material. OSB used to build temporary buildings. Internal fitments of Olympic stadium large amounts of product.
Provision of electrical and fire protection services to the Media Broadcast Centre
A technology company with an innovative offer to the construction sector that provides bio metric access control combined with a web based platform to record attendance and health and safety information. Their product was adopted on the Startford site.
Manufacture and supply of GRP doors to the 2012 Aquatic Centre
EDC Consulting Engineers
Secured the engineering design services contract at the Eton Manor Complex.
Secured the design and installation of mechanical and electrical services to the Eton Manor Complex
John Sisk & Son
The largest Irish owned building contractor in the UK market won a significant contract award on The Athlete’s Village project from Bovis Lend Lease for Athlete’s Accommodation. As well as the construction of two single span pedestrian and cycleway bridges, H10 and H14 spanning the Lea Navigation River on the western boundary and the Shooting venue at the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich.
Supplied architectural ironmongery to the Media Broadcast Centre
Contract for the manufacture and supply of reinforced steel cages for piles to the the Aquatic Centre and Handball arena
Platt & Reilly Limited
Secured dry wall and ceiling contracts for the Athlete’s village and the new Media Broadcasting Centre.
To date the most successful Enterprise Ireland manufacturing company at the games with a series of successes at the Athlete’s village for their precast concrete external facades. A company that have made significant investments into technology and lean manufacturing demonstrating capability that is unparalleled elsewhere in the UK and Ireland.