A COUNTY Armagh company has won business worth more than £1 million carrying out work on six of the football pitches which will be used during the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
The announcement was made today (Monday) by Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster, who is leading an Invest Northern Ireland trade and investment mission to Brazil this week to support local companies who are exhibiting at the largest healthcare exhibition in Latin America.
The announcement was a direct result of Craigavon-based Clive Richardson Ltd’s (CRL) participation in a recent Invest NI trade mission to South America.
Minister Foster said: “This very substantial announcement today follows CRL’s success in preparing pitches for other global competitions including those used during recent UEFA European Championships.
“As a result of these successes, CRL is now firmly established as a world leader in the construction, preparation and maintenance of sports grounds. By enhancing their reputation through a commitment to innovation, the company has pioneered the development of unique technology that enables them to offer high profile clients expertise in the management of grass in extreme climates such as the Ukraine and now Brazil.”
The contract that has been awarded will involve the preparation of pitches at the Gremio in Porto Alegre, Forteliza in Forteliza, Barradao in Salvador, Belo Horizonte, International, Porto Alegre and Corinthian’s, Sao Paulo for the forthcoming World Cup.
The Minister continued: “CRL is a superb example of a locally-owned company which is growing steadily as a result of a strategic commitment to export-led innovation. It has turned expertise in the management of grass, our most abundant natural resource, into a very successful export business.”
The Minister was briefed about the company’s business in Brazil by Clive Richardson, CRL Managing Director.
Mr Richardson said: “We have worked hard on our international business in recent years and our reputation has grown with the market. Our high profile export growth is good news for everyone in the community including our many staff and suppliers.
“It is important to acknowledge the on-going help and commitment from Invest NI helping us win and grow our work in these countries. We used an Invest NI mission to identify the opportunity in Brazil and to find out how best to bid for the business.
“The contracts in Brazil were secured in open competition and have positioned us for even faster growth in the rapidly growing international sports event market. We gained the business because of our expertise in grass management and maintenance. Our expertise enables us to provide bespoke solutions to the specific requirements of individual clients.
“Up to 30 locally trained and employed staff from Portadown and surrounding areas have been involved in each project at any one time.
“The pitch preparation work has included the Corininthian’s stadium in Sao Paulo, the highest profile and most iconic stadium in Brazil, which has provided challenges in terms of grass preparation.”