Page last updated at 17:20 GMT, Friday, 24 July 2009 18:20 UK

Olympics 'cash boost to region'

Lord Coe says many firms from the region have won Olympics contracts

The 2012 Olympic Games will bring billions of pounds to the West Midlands region, say organisers.

Lord Coe, chairman of the 2012 organising committee, said about 47 firms in the region had already won contracts to help develop the Games.

He said there were contracts valued at about £6bn available and about half of these had already been awarded.

A regional plan has been drawn up to outline how the West Midlands can benefit most from the London Olympics.

The proposals were outlined at the Town Hall in Birmingham.

Hundreds of cultural events will take place across the UK over the weekend to mark the three-year countdown to the Games.

Basketball training

Meanwhile, Lord Coe told BBC Midlands Today that contracts would help firms across the UK during the recession.

"There's probably not a better time to have this project," he said.

Zaun Fencing in Wolverhampton is among the firms in the area to benefit from the Games.

Worker at Zaun Fencing
Zaun Fencing is among firms which have won contracts

It was awarded a £7m contract to supply 12.5 km (7.8 miles) of fence for the perimeter of the Olympic site.

And other places are involved in sports training or are hosting Olympic teams, such as Birmingham which will be hosting the American athletics team.

The University of Worcester has invested money in high-tech sports facilities.

The university's Mick Donovan said in particular it had worked hard to develop its basketball facilities over the past 10 years.

The Lithunian Olympic team has already begun training at the site.

And in Shropshire, there are hopes tourism will be boosted by its Olympic connections.

William Penny Brookes established the Much Wenlock Olympics in 1850 which are said to have inspired the modern Games.

Rosemary Smith, 2012 development manager for the county, said: "As this is the cradle of the modern Olympics, people from around the world will be attracted to come to Much Wenlock."

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