Arkansas-based firm Weldon, Williams & Lick is to print the tickets for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
In a decision that has angered many, London 2012 announced that Weldon, Williams & Lick would be printing the bulk of the tickets, but did not specify the number that would be printed in the UK. Once printed in Arkansas, the tickets will be flown the 4,500 miles to London.
A London 2012 spokesperson said: “The contract to print tickets was awarded following a thorough, competitive and open tender run through Compete For.”
“As with all our contracts, a number of criteria are considered including the experience of working on projects of this scale, security, ability to handle large amounts of data and value for money,” he added.
Weldon, Williams & Lick has previously printed tickets for the Olympics in Atlanta, Vancouver ans Sydney.
Several UK-based printing companies voiced their anger at not being given a fair chance to win the contract, including Integrity, which regularly prints tickets for Premiership football games across the country.
Ukip’s candidate for London mayor Lawrence Webb said that the situation was a ‘disgrace’. He said: “This is a kick in the guts to British firms who would have been desperate to secure such a lucrative contract, but it looks like they did not even get the opportunity to bid.”
“There seems to be a track record in this country of not putting British businesses first. We have seen it with Bombardier in Derby and now we are seeing it with the London Olympics where an American company gets the contract to print tickets.”
Approximately 8.8 million tickets for the Olympics and two million for the Paralympics have gone on sale to the public in Britain in the past year.