Printing for London 2012 gone to America!

Printing for London 2012 gone to America!

The decision to grant the contract to Weldon, Williams & Lick of Fort Smith, Arkansas has sparked outrage among British businesses who have demanded to know why they were not chosen.

Previous Olympic organising committees in Seoul and Barcelona gave their ticket printing deals to the national equivalent of the Royal Mint. But Locog, who also outsourced the manufacturing of some Olympic souvenirs to China, defended their decision stressing that there were many business opportunities for British firms as a result of the Games.

Once in a lifetime: Tom Daley advertising Olympic tickets Photo: LONDON 2012Tony Hallet, an account manager at print brokers CCS McLays, claimed that he did not believe any UK companies had been offered the chance to pitch for the contract.

“It is typical of our country,” he told the London Evening Standard.“The Yanks would never give it to us, or if the Olympics were in France, UK companies would not get the contract.”

A London 2012 spokesman said: “The contract to print tickets was awarded following a thorough, competitive and open tender run through [tendering website] Compete For.

“As with all of our contracts, a number of criteria are considered including the experience of working on projects of this scale, security, ability to handle large amounts of data and value for money.

“Across the project, the Games has been good news for UK plc with 95 per cent of contracts going to British business.”

Nearly all of the 11 million tickets to the Olympics and Paralympics will be printed in the southern state before being packaged up and flown thousands of miles to Britain. From there they will be distributed to ticketholders at a £6 delivery cost.

Lawrence Webb, UKIP’s London Mayor candidate, slammed the decision to outsource the printing, branding it “a kick in the guts to British firms”.

He said: “We were sold the idea of the London Olympics on the basis that it would benefit the British and London economy but this latest development is just another empty promise.

“This is a kick in the guts to British firms who would have been desperate to secure such a lucrative contract but it looks like they did not even get the opportunity to bid.

“There seems to be a track record in this country of not putting British businesses first, we have seen it with Bombardier in Derby and now we are seeing it with the London Olympics where an American company gets the contract to print tickets.

“It is a disgrace.”

Source: The Telegraph, 3rd May 2012

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