Ailing furniture manufacturer Remploy, the largest employer of disabled people in the UK, is in talks to supply seating for the Olympics.
Remploy specialises in school seating and has supplied furniture to more than 13,000 schools and colleges over the past three years. It is understood that one project under discussion would involve converting a college into temporary accommodation for the Games.
Graham Hirst, sales and marketing manager, said: “We are not at a stage to submit formal bids, but we are talking to a number of contractors about potential involvement.”
Remploy receives a government grant of £100m a year, but this is to be cut and it is proposing to close 32 of its 83 factories across the UK. Remploy workers will be protesting at the TUC conference this weekend, and at the party conferences.
A spokesperson for the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) said: “The ODA is committed to ensuring that our procurement programme is open to diverse suppliers, including businesses owned by disabled people.”
UK seating manufacturers will be stretched to capacity over the next five years, with not only the Olympics, but additional sporting venues across the country to supply. The situation has been exacerbated after two seating companies went into administration during the construction of Wembley stadium.