Sheffield & South Yorkshire

London 2012: South Yorkshire firms help build Olympic venues

Sheffield companies Arnold Laver and Constructional Timber supplied and manufactured timber for the Velodrome
Image caption South Yorkshire companies were responsible for the Velodrome track and seating

The 2012 Olympics may be 200 miles from South Yorkshire, but its manufacturing industry has been responsible for large parts of the Olympic site.

Perhaps the most significant structure is the velodrome. Its track, seating, walls and tunnels come from Sheffield and Barnsley.

Anti-graffiti paint for 20,000 sq ft of the Olympic site came from Doncaster and half the timber for the construction of the whole site came from a Sheffield firm.

South Yorkshire companies also created drainage for the basketball arena and anti-skid finishes for around the Olympic Park, while cables for the construction of the Olympic Stadium came from Doncaster.

A full list of suppliers and contractors can be seen here.

'Tip of the iceberg'

Yorkshire Gold, the region's Olympics development agency, said £73m of contracts awarded to companies in Yorkshire and the Humber was just "the tip of the iceberg" and that London 2012 had created and safeguarded jobs in difficult economic times.

"We know over 220 companies that won contracts stemming from the Olympics," said Emma Tiernan, of Yorkshire Gold.

"There are many more businesses we're unaware of, and tens of thousands of sub-contracts," she added.

If Barnsley-born Olympic cyclist Ed Clancy qualifies for London 2012 he will race on a track manufactured in his home town.

Image caption Olympic cyclist Ed Clancy may get the chance to ride on a track made in his home town, Barnsley

Clancy rode in the team pursuit in the 2008 Beijing Olympics when Team GB won gold.

Construction of the velodrome started in 2008 and finished in February 2011. Its design and construction makes it the most sustainable venue in the Olympic Park.

Using sustainable wood from a Sheffield firm, Barnsley-based Constructional Timber manufactured the highly specialised velodrome track from glued laminated wood in a £97,000 contract from the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA).

Director Martin Daws said Constructional Timber had previous experience of velodrome manufacturing and had worked with cyclist Ron Webb on the Manchester velodrome in 1994.

Mr Daws said the Olympic contract was a "big name" for the company and that London 2012 was good news for South Yorkshire's manufacturing industry.

Concrete for the velodrome's terrace seating, walls and stairs also came from a Barnsley firm - Charcon Precast Solution - which won the £1.1m contract.

The velodrome's concrete lower tier has 3,500 seats around the track and 2,500 seats in two upper tiers, separated by a glass wall with a 360-degree view across the Olympic Park.

Sheffield company Arnold Laver won a multimillion-pound contract from the ODA to provide 4,500 cubic metres of timber for the construction of the Olympic site.

"No Olympic building did not involve Arnold Laver timber," said Andrew Laver, director of the Sheffield business which has been in the family for more than 90 years.

"Wood came from every single continent except Antarctica - because it has no trees."

Mr Laver said he was "staggered" by the volume of work received through the Olympics and said the firm had opened a new depot in East London to meet demand.

It is now supplying timber for Europe's largest construction project, Crossrail.

The Olympic Park will be kept clean with 700 litres of anti-graffiti coating from South Yorkshire firm Urban Hygiene.

The Doncaster company also supplied graffiti removal products for stations, subways, bridges and underpasses across London.

Director Mark Johnson said cleaning anti-graffiti coatings was much quicker than hours of manual cleaning, with damaging high-pressure water or chemicals.

Image caption Doncaster company Urban Hygiene is providing anti-graffiti coverings for the Olympic site

After the anti-graffiti contract, Urban Hygiene was asked to provide anti-chewing gum coating for 7,000 sq m of paving around the Olympic Park.

The contracts were worth nearly £40,000 to the Doncaster company.

"You see a lot on the news about whether or not the Olympics is good for the UK, but I think it definitely has been," said Mr Johnson.

"Opportunities like the Olympics remind the world of the engineering, manufacturing and construction capabilities of South Yorkshire and the rest of the UK," said Daniel Fell of Doncaster Chamber of Commerce.

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