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Companies are urged to expand on successes of Glasgow 2014

SCOTTISH companies which have secured work linked to Glasgow 2014 have been urged to use the experience to win contracts related to other international sporting events in future.

EVENT: Stephen Gater, Linda Murray, Ishbell MacPhail, athlete Lynsey Sharp, Paul Zealey and Mark Beaumont.
EVENT: Stephen Gater, Linda Murray, Ishbell MacPhail, athlete Lynsey Sharp, Paul Zealey and Mark Beaumont.

Contracts linked to the Commonwealth Games worth £313 million have been awarded so far, with businesses in Scotland winning 82% of the value of the 400 deals concluded.

Now those companies and others in Scotland are being urged to build on that success and broaden their horizons.

Speaking at an event hosted by computer giant Dell and The Herald at Hampden Park yesterday, Linda Murray, director of the Glasgow 2014 team at Scottish Enterprise, cited the Qatar World Cup in 2022 as the type of event Scottish firms should be pitching for, whether as direct contractors or as part of the supply chain.

Ms Murray said the Persian Gulf state has unleashed a $US20 billion investment to build up its infrastructure ahead of the World Cup, including a new airport, port and metro system.

Noting that the delivery of the Commonwealth Games on time and on budget means Scotland has a "great story to tell", she said: "We've gained invaluable experience over the last couple of years having had London 2012 and then the Commonwealth Games happening in Scotland afterwards, and we have also built up an excellent stock of businesses who are really getting into the swing of things about how to tap into this market, [and] what is it you need to secure these much bigger contracts.

"We're building a much stronger network of businesses who have a very positive story to tell for themselves, having [had] experience that's quite transformational."

Ms Murray flagged the opportunity to Scottish firms in "inter-Commonwealth trade", and said the combined gross domestic product of the Commonwealth will grow three times faster than the eurozone in the next five years.

She was one of six speakers at the event, held to explore how businesses can build on the legacy created by Glasgow 2014, including by investing in technology.

She was joined at the lectern by Paul Zealey, head of engagement and legacy at Glasgow 2014, and the Dell general manager for Scotland and the north, Ishbell MacPhail.

Dell's marketing director Stephen Gater and Brian Nourse, chief information officer at the Games' organising committee, also spoke, and there was a motivational talk by Scots adventurer Mark Beaumont, the long-distance cyclist who has broken several world records.

Mr Zealey said the organising committee was determined to ensure Scottish SMEs share in the opportunities offered by the Games, noting that the Queen's Baton was made by Glasgow-based 4C Design, the wooden medal podium was made by Paul Hodgkiss, and the outfits for the medal bearers designed by Kerry Nixon, backed by Harris Tweed.

And he pledged that Glasgow was "determined to learn from the London experience", which saw swathes of empty seats at some events at London 2012.

Dell's Ishbell MacPhail said the IT giant had been "immensely proud" of its role as the principal hardware and data solutions supplier to the Games. She said: "This event was designed to bring together business leaders in the Glasgow community and examine how technology is instrumental when creating large-scale sporting events, and the role the Scottish business community will be playing in building the legacy for Glasgow following the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

"Feedback from attendees was extremely positive, with many sharing their own insights into the role of technology in their business and thoughts on their role in sustaining investment in the community following the Games.

"It was great to see the excitement around the Games from all who participated and extremely valuable to have direct interaction with the business community to ensure that we have our finger on the pulse."

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