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Thu October 28 2021

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British firms go for gold in Rio

1 Oct 12 British businesses are in line to win contracts worth up to £250m for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games according to Department for Business, Innovation & Skills.

Prime minister David Cameron led a trade mission of 58 companies to Brazil last week. On Friday, he brought British companies together with key Rio 2016 decision-makers at a special summit on hosting sporting events.

Already 22 British companies have won 36 contracts amounting to more than £70m for the three events.

Projects include urban and transport planning for nine World Cup host cities, the Olympic Park masterplan design contract and communications and IT facilities. Transport for London is also working with Rio to share the experience it gained running London’s transport system during the 2012 Games.

“This summer Britain set a new Olympic benchmark,” said Cameron. “We delivered London 2012 on time and under budget and showed the world that Britain has the skills, capacity, creativity and expertise to put on the greatest show on earth.

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"Now we want to make sure we seize this unique opportunity to build on the close ties we have developed with Brazil as the next host nation, share our experiences and open the door for more British businesses.

“With UK companies already working closely with Rio 2016, winning contracts and building business links, we are in an ideal position to boost British business in Brazil from Rio 2016 and beyond.”

London 2012 velodrome structural engineer Useful Simple is opening an office in Rio in the next few weeks. The company hopes that over the next few years this will create 15 new jobs in London and annual revenue of £1.5m. “We believe that economic story of the 21st century will be dominated by countries like Brazil which have so many of the earth’s key resources,” said Useful Simple director Ed McCann. “We hope that we and others can play a small role in helping Brazil reach its full potential and in so doing secure our own future as individuals and as a business.”

Examples of contracts already won by UK companies include International Stadia Group’s construction and operation of the 45,000-seat 2014 World Cup Arena Pernambuco and Steer Davies Gleave’s provision of independent transport and event consultancy to nine World Cup cities, including Rio de Janeiro. Aecom and Wilkinson Eyre have been appointed masterplanner for the Rio 2016 Olympic Park, Arup is sustainability advisor for the Rio 2016 Olympic Village project and Populous is architect for the 2014 World Cup Natal stadium.   

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