Council urged to help firms win Games contracts

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Dumfries and Galloway Council has been asked to set up a dedicated advice service to help local businesses win some of the multi-million-pound contracts for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The call comes as catering contracts for the 2014 Commonwealth Games worth £8 million go out to tender over the next nine months. With food and drink a vital part of Dumfries and Galloway’s economy, local politicians say they want to see local manufacturers “front and centre during the 2014 Commonwealth Games”. As well as the direct economic benefit, the Commonwealth Games are a “great advertising opportunity” for local produce.

Local politicians are going to meet the chief executive of Dumfries and Galloway Council to push for a dedicated “one-stop shop” advice service for local companies seeking to bid for the contracts, as well as offering grants to cover the costs of making bids. While beginning with food and drink, over the coming months they want the service to be expanded into other sectors to make sure businesses in Dumfries and Galloway are getting the most benefit from the Commonwealth Games

The council’s Labour group leader, Ronnie Nicholson, said: “Food and drink is a vital part of Dumfries and Galloway’s economy. Our region offers some of the finest produce in the country and I want to see our manufacturers’ front and centre during the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Over the next nine months the Glasgow 2014 organising committee will be procuring catering services contracts worth up to £8 million.

“As well as the direct economic benefit, the Commonwealth Games are a great advertising opportunity for local food and drink manufacturers. The council must be fighting tooth and nail to support local businesses in taking full advantage of this once in a generation opportunity.

“I want to see the council collaborate with partners such as Scottish Enterprise to set up a dedicated ‘one-stop shop’ advice service for local companies seeking to bid for the contracts, as well as offering grants to cover the costs of making a bid. In the coming months this service should be expanded to other sectors to make sure Dumfries and Galloway is getting the most benefit from the Commonwealth Games. At a time when our local economy is struggling, we need to back local businesses and seize this moment to support local jobs in our area.”